Teresa and Faa’vae Fa’auliuli present a gift to Prime Minister Jacinda Arden when visiting their home at Maagiagi built with a loan from Habitat for Humanity
By Rula Su’a – Vaai
APIA, SAMOA – MONDAY 5 2018: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Adern said that she will look into the so many unmet needs of local families who are applying for funds to build their homes in Samoa.
Prime Minister Arden was responding to Talamua during her visit to one of the families at Magiagi that has just completed a house built under the Habitat for Humanity project.
“I am so humbled and I feel the warmth of the welcome,” she said.
The Habitat for Humanity in New Zealand is working closely with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency Samoa (ADRA) and the Samoa Housing Corporation by dispersing loan funds to successful applicants to build their family homes. The applicants also go through and need to pass the financial literacy program.
Su’a Julia Wallwork, President of ADRA said they have received more than 1,000 applications but they can only take 290.
“Ideally, we want to take them all but we are limited by how much funding we have available to us.”
Su’a added, ADRA’s role is selling the message that the project is to create an opportunity for families to have a better home and to encourage them to add on to whatever cost they can put in to complete their homes.
Approximately $10,000 tala is the maximum amount loaned to successful applicants through the Samoa Housing Corporation and ADRA’s president reiterated the importance on self-reliance.
“That amount is to basically get materials needed to build a basic house, and it is up to each family to finance any extension if they have to.”
The sample home belongs to Teresa and husband – Samoa’s gold medal weightlifter Fa’avae Fa’auliuli who were humbled by the Prime Minister’s visit. They acknowledged with gratitude the assistance from Habitat of Humanity and said they are very fortunate to be part of the program. “It is a beautiful home we have, it may not look much to some, but we are very happy and fortunate.”
The couple presented home-made gifts to Prime Minister Arden and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters.
Prime Minister Adern said it is very clear that the demand for building homes for vulnerable groups is huge and she hopes that the New Zealand government will see to it that they can help. “We hope that perhaps in the future we would like to support you – Habitat for Humanity in doing that, because there are so many unmet needs at the moment.”