Fifty two year old Samu Seniolo from Manu village in Wainibuka lost all his belongings including his home during Tropical Cyclone Winston. His home was blown from where it was situated on top of a hill and landed in a stream one kilometer away.
He lost his wife in the process and two of his sons were hospitalized. His youngest son, Kolinio is still admitted at the Children’s ward of the Colonial War Memorial (CWM) hospital in Suva with a broken thigh bone, where he has been bed ridden for over 3 months.
It has been a constant struggle for the family as they come to terms with the loss of their mother and wife. According to Mr Seniolo, his eight year old son Kolinio has finally accepted the fact that his mother will not be coming home.
Mr Seniolo was part of the ILO’s Community Based Emergency Employment project (CBEE), and was part of a thirty member group from Manu village that was engaged to work on their farms for a period of ten days and paid a weekly wage. Using the “solesolevaki” system whereby villagers work in groups of five, Mr Seniolo was able to keep his mind off the family tragedy and mingled freely with other villagers doing farm work. He was very thankful to the ILO for the project which had enabled him to earn some money for the family.
The ILO Suva staff raised funds and visited father and son at the hospital with a gift of two school packs for Kolinio, fruits and have committed to pay for their transport expenses back to Wainibuka when Kolinio is finally discharged from the hospital.