05 February 2019, Fugalei Market, Apia Samoa. Soonalote is a mother of 3 who sells goods every day at the Fugalei market so that she can educate her children.
Soonalote tells Samoa Global News that her eldest daughter Terisa was born with a hearing disability and she attended Loto Taumafai school every year until she reached her 20s when her mother finally stopped her.
“She was becoming the oldest student in the school so she’s finally stopped attending.”
Her second son has finished school and now helps with selling fruits and vegetables at their “poloka” at the Fugalei Market.
From the money she makes Soonalote funds her youngest daughter at the University of Medicine OUM at Motootua.
“She is lucky that she got sponsored by the Government so we only pay $300 registration per quarter and then it costs $100 for her bus fares and lunch money every week.”
Soonalote aims to sell fruit and vegetables everyday until her daughter finishes with medical school.
“God willing she will be graduated to become a doctor soon and then I might give myself a rest from coming to the market while it’s still dark every morning,” says Soonalote with a smile.
The hard working mother stays all day and doesn’t return home until the evening because she says she had to catch the buyers who come by after work.