The mayor of Toamua and Puipa’a, Leaoaniu Ale is pleading for everyone to work and stand together in minimizing the growing numbers of child vendors.
In an interview with the Samoa Observer yesterday, Leaoniu reminded the public that ‘it’s everyone responsibility’.
“We (village) hardly find any child vendors in our area.
“Maybe….but not that I know of…we have our own rule (sa) to stop anyone, especially the parents from sending their children on the streets to sell any form of goods during school hours and days.
“It is something that we planned a long time ago to prevent our children from not going to school at a very young age.”
Leaoniu believes that placing children in school will help build a stronger nation in the future.
“Government, parents, chiefs and everyone should understand that education provides our young ones with proper knowledge about who they are so that they can enrich their understanding for the betterment of this country, for they’re the future of Samoa.
“The generation of today will have a great impact on our nation’s development and growth.
“What if the numbers of child vendors is increasing?
“A wise saying that everyone must think about today is – A vale tu’ulima le asō o le a afaina le lumana’i.
“I can imagine the image of this country if child vendors within Samoa keep increasing in the next 10 to 20 years.
“It’s not a very good sign – not a very good sign at all.”
However, Leaoniu said that playing a key role in developing children into responsible citizens at a very young age will help the economy of any country.
“Education can lay a solid foundation for a successful nation of the future.
“It’s our responsibility to stand together and send these children to school. Laws must be enforced with children back at school this year.
“In our village, we’re with the law – we send our children to school – every child must have the chance to succeed.
“It’s common sense – we need to help each other as one of the songs goes – if we all work together how happy we’ll be.” He said that they’re also looking at ways to improve the situation within their own village.
“If we’re not helping our children today – who’s going to help us tomorrow? It will be too late if we leave it to another day (tomorrow)…too late. “Ministries should enforce laws – government should look into ways to solve the ongoing problem of the growing numbers of child vendors in the country and we? We’ll abide by the law.”