30 Jan 2017

Family initiative aims to stop Samoa's child street vendors

3:24 pm on 30 January 2017

A pilot programme has started in Samoa to help low income families set up small businesses, with hopes it will help end the problem of children selling goods on the streets of the capital, Apia.

Street vendor from Leone, Apia.

Street vendor from Leone, Apia. Photo: RNZI Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Ten representatives of families from villages of Leone, Tufuiopa, Vaiusu and Leulumoega tuai, have been selected to participate.

One participant and a mother of seven, Temukisa Semau, said she wanted to start a small business printing tapa or elei materials to sell, instead of sending her three children aged 8, 9, and 12 to sell goods on the streets.

She has admitted it was wrong for her kids to be out making money but she said her husband was the only one who worked and his weekly salary did not meet the high cost of living.

Temukisa Semau  and her son from Leone a sub village of Apia.

Temukisa Semau and her son from Leone a sub village of Apia. Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

The programme was initiated by Samoa's Ministry of Women and Social Development with assistance by Small Business Enterprises.

A senior officer of the Ministry of Women said some of the selected families for the programme lived on lease lands around the urban area.

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