The negative behaviour of the youth has been a constant problem for Samoa and the fact that people sees it as a norm is a real worry.
That’s the view of Ioane Iatimo, from the village of Tufuiopa, and he says it is time for change. He explains that the problem isn’t anything new in Samoa and that’s why there’s a need for change.
Walking around town, Ioane says he has noticed young people smoking, drinking and getting up to all sorts of trouble.
“I have grown more and more concerned with the youth of today,” he told the Village Voice.
“Just walk around and you will see some young people smoking; some hide and drink. Their behaviour is unacceptable and I am sure that it is the cause of so many problems in this nation.
“Sometimes I just can’t believe it; youth aged 15 and under are smoking. There are those youth who can’t find jobs and resort to theft to make a living.
“If you look properly around town, you will find these types of youth.”
Asked about his thoughts on the recent beating of a youth at the village of Talimatau, he says there are many similar cases.
“There are many cases like that,” he said.
“Many village kids come and muck around town and cause a lot of trouble. They try and force people to give them what they want, they beat people up, and they just cause so many problems for everyone.
“It’s nothing new and that needs to change.”
He says the solution lies with the government, village and families of the youth.
“One solution I know for problems like this is for the government to get their police officers on track,” Ioane said.
“When things like this happen and the police are contacted, they arrive when everything is over and everyone has left. They are often late to the scene.
“Another solution for this issue is for the village heads to be serious about their punishment. This is the work for everyone; it takes a village to raise the youth.
“But at the end of the day, it’s the duty of the parents to keep their children in line.”
Aside from issues with the youth, Ioane says that there are many people struggling in Samoa.
“We see it all over Samoa; there are a lot of families, who struggle,” he said.
“There are some families who can’t afford to put their children through school because they barely make enough money to survive.
“There are many people who are doing well with life but there are also many who don’t.”
And to make matter worse, Ioane says that the high cost of living is hitting everyone hard.
“On top of all the struggling families in Samoa, we have a really high cost of living in this country,” he said.
“Items in the shops are getting more and more expensive. Some basic items that every family needs in life are becoming unaffordable.”