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Teenage quits school to provide for his family

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WORKING HARD: Sam at work.For 14-year-old boy Sam, shining tyres and asking for a tala or two is his daily job.

It’s not something he likes but he has no choice.

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"I am doing this not because it is something I decided to do in life but to help my mother in providing for my family,” he told the Samoa Observer. Sam is from Aele. He did not want to reveal his employer’s name.

“What is the point of going back to school when your family is poor? I think it’s a waste of time.”

Sam said he had the option to go to school. But he decided against it because he could not stand how poor his family is.

“So when I finished my Year 8 last year, I started looking for a job,” he said.

“My mother told me to find a job so that I can provide for them (parents) and my four youngest siblings.”

For Sam, the struggle is his reality.

“Life as a teenage worker to support your family every morning is really hard - I begin as early as seven o’clock every morning until late at night. Sometimes the drivers swear at me… it’s a shame…but that doesn't matter – what matter is to see my family survive and happy.

“My mother had a job somewhere near our village (Aele) but my father...he’s really sick…he’s having a hard time fighting for his life because of chest pains.”

Sam says he still wants to go back to school. “To be honest, I really want to go back to school,” he said.

“I want to do more in life... but...I just don’t know what tomorrow will bring if I continue on this.”

Yesterday, Sam said it was a slow day.

"I am sure that if I don't do this, my family will have no food,” he said.

“It’s really hard to stand here all day. I have to try and be persistent and pushy with people sometimes because otherwise I make no money.

“I try and wash the tyres for some people for free and they yell at me. It hurts but I have no choice, I have a family that needs to eat.”

Sam makes about $20 a day. The money goes to his employer who then pays him at the end of the week.

 

 

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