We all know savings is important. And we all know that regardless of how little our income is, if we want to, with discipline, we can still be able to save. But how about for a family whose income is way below the minimum wage? That due to a difficult situation in their family, the father and mother can’t find a better job?
Lia is a mother of two boys, with a husband who is a pedicab driver. Her eldest son graduated in Marine Engineering in 2015, all thanks to a scholarship. Her youngest son is an autistic child who is just staying home with them, they did not let him study because of financial difficulties. As much as she wants to find a job to help her husband, she just couldn’t because of her responsibilities at home. Aside from taking care of his autistic son 24/7, she has to take care of her mother as well who lives nearby their house, who couldn’t see properly because of eye problems due to age. It’s also impossible for his husband to work far from home because most of the time, Lia needs his assistance in looking after their youngest. He’s almost an adult now who still shows child-like tantrums. Physically, he’s becoming stronger than Lia each day, thus, her husband’s presence nearby is needed.
After her eldest son graduated from college, he was able to get an allowance for being an apprentice in an international ship which had been a great help to Lia’s family. Unfortunately, it lasted after a year only and her son wasn’t able to get on board after that, not until this year. So for those times when her eldest son was staying at home, their income relied only on her husband. Earning from being a pedicab driver is not that much, which led Lia’s family to debts, borrowing money for groceries and other necessities, leaving no extra money for savings.
That has been going for 3 years now, Lia is just thankful that her son has finally found a job, and got his first onboarding schedule as a seaman recently, no longer an apprentice. She was happy when she told me her story, and feeling positive that their family will be able to cope up and pay their debts once her son starts sending a portion of his salary. This is expected from seafarers especially for single men and Lia is just happy that his son is very positive and willing to help them.
If you’re like Lia who have debts left and right, analyze your situation and look for a realistic solution no matter how hard it is to achieve. Lia did not just sit and wait for his son to get a job. She helped and supported him from day 1 because she knew it’s their family’s only hope. She’s just thankful that they have relatives who helped them financially as well, especially for the money needed in complying seafarer’s requirements. I wish all the best for Lia’s family and hoping all their debts will be paid off soon while staying strong for her youngest son.