“This is a really good programme so we can share our opinions and especially for us youths as well,” 28 year old Steve Utuma’i, from the village of Lufilufi tells the Village Voice.
“Life as a youth here in the village is different from Apia. The problems that have been caused by the youths in Apia are a waste of time.
“I am not telling the government what to do, but I know that they (government) make all the decisions for our country.
“Life here in the village is peaceful. This is because we are well protected by the strong village councils and Matais.”
But what is life like for a young man in the rural villages?
“I went to school but because I didn’t do too well and I didn’t obey my parents; that’s why I have turned to the plantation,” Steve says.
“To my belief, life as a farmer is easy. This is because we can also get money from it.
“I think the government should do something with the problems (fights) caused by our youths in Apia. I feel that if a kid attends the colleges in their districts, there will be no more conflicts and fights.
“Most of the young people back here in our village have plantations. And I know that it’s a great help for our families.”
As a hard working, young man, do you have a message for all the youth out there?
“Youths are the future of tomorrow,” Steve says.
“We all have different purposes in life and my advice to my brothers and sisters who are not using their time wisely; there are a lot of things out there that we can do to earn money to help out our families.
“It’s not just education. Agriculture is also another way to earn money. Our government also has programmes where we can go and get loans to start up a small business to help our families.
“Many of us think that if we don’t do well in school, all we’re good for is just staying home and do nothing.
“But I believe that there are a lot of things that we can do to earn money (if you don’t do well in school).
“It’s true that the cost of living is expensive nowadays but I think that is a great thing to motivate our people to go and do something useful to help out their families and also their children.
“So that when the children grow up, they will know that their parents did a good job in raising them up and they will do the same as well.
It will motivate them to work harder.”