Setaita gets support
63-year-old Setaita from Fiji has known poverty all her life, having singlehandedly raised her five daughters without any assistance. “Many people were amazed. I wanted to show others that if I could do it, anyone can do it too,” she says. However, when the pandemic came to Fiji, Setaita’s financial worries grew.
Setaita lives with her youngest daughter’s family and looks after two of her other grandchildren. The family struggled to make ends meet as the pandemic worsened in Rewa province. When hairdressers were closed and her son-in-law lost his job as a barber in Suva City, the family turned to other relatives for support. “When it came to my grandchildren, I needed the help because I am at a vulnerable age,” Setaita says.
After hearing about Save the Children’s cash project in Fiji, Setaita contacted us to explain her family’s situation. She qualified for a one-off transfer. Setaita quickly and easily received her payment via a virtual voucher sent directly to her mobile phone - a safe, secure and fast way to access cash. Setaita says the project helped improve her resilience. “Save the Children reached out to me at the perfect time and helped me top up my strength to continue making ends meet,” she says.
Setaita and her family pose for a photo in their home in Fiji.
Food on the table, a roof overhead
Like 95% of households surveyed by the project, Setaita used the money to help feed her family. She also paid a carpenter to repair her roof, as well as purchasing a tin of paint to maintain her house, which she inherited from her late mother. Setaita is determined to preserve the house as much as possible to remind her of her mother, and so that she and her grandchildren can always take pride in their life no matter the circumstances.
Aside from addressing her immediate worries, Setaita says the transfer also helped her do what she loves - helping others. “I am always happy when I am able to give back to those who most need it,” she says. “I am blessed to have [Save the Children] in our lives, assisting us in those areas which I always want to take part in - especially my duties in the church, the community, as well as my family.”
Setaita is grateful for the support she received from Save the Children’s Fiji cash initiative.
Supporting Fijian families to bounce back
Seitata was one of 16,258 households that received a cash transfer from phase one of Save the Children’s cash assistance project. Given the continued economic impacts of COVID-19 across the world and in Fiji, the project has continued into 2022.
“Many people from Australia and New Zealand already know what a wonderful country Fiji is to holiday in, so they would understand that the pandemic has crippled our economy which is normally buoyed by tourism,” said Shairana Ali, CEO of Save the Children Fiji.