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Making ends meet in Samoa for White Sunday

While many families are spending up big to celebrate WhiteSunday tomorrow, there are those that are missing school just to make enough money for food on the day.

In among the shoppers yesterday were sellers – some only of primary school age – flogging wares such as chips, soda and matches just so they would not feel left out of the festivities.

All of them were school kids from various villages in rural areas.

One seller, 13-year-old Fa’amanatu Fa’amanatu, from Faleasiu, was among the children out on the streets of Apia.

“I am a school boy and I am here to sell chips and cocoa to help out my parents so they can buy food for White Sunday,” he tells the Weekend Observer.

“I know today is a school day but selling these chips will help my parents out a lot.”

“Not only so they can feed my younger siblings on White Sunday, but so we have enough to buy lunch when we go back to school next week.”

While interviewing Fa’amanatu his other 19-year-old brother, Selesitina was on the other side of the road also trying to make some money for his family.

“Friday was one of the days that I didn’t go to school but came with my eldest brother walking around town selling chips so that we can get money for our family,” said Fa’amanatu. While his family may not have much to celebrate the holiday with – the teenager did say that he did get to perform in Church.

“That is what is important to me I would prefer to celebrate with my family at Church and with lunch than wear a new lavalava. Seeing my parents and siblings together, that is what matters.”

Looking at the young man, his eyes belie his words – looking into them you can tell that he wants to be like the shoppers that bustle around him, buying new shoes, clothes to look their best this Sunday.

On the streets every Friday selling what he can, his family rely on him and his brother to make ends meet.



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