Meet Meki Alatasi.
When the 25-year-old resident of the village of Sataoa spoke with the Village Voice team, he couldn’t stop praising the Village Councils for their role in maintaining law and order in Samoa.
He thanked them for dealing with issues such as youth gangs, family violence, inter-school fights that are mostly happening in town every year.
“There is difference between life in the village and life in town,” he said.
“A lot of villages in town don’t have strong Village Councils like the ones back here in the village.
“I think that is one of the problems in urban areas is the fact that they don’t have Village Councils, I am not saying that all of them don’t have strong Village Councils, only some of them.
“But back here in the village, the matai and the Village Council deal with all the problems in the villages and in some cases, families as well and that’s good for us.”
He added that God gave matai the authority to rule and govern.
“Yes, the village councils keep the peace, law and order.”
He added that the government depends on the Village Councils to help them.
“As I’ve mentioned before, villages in urban areas should have their own village councils to help them out. I think this is another way to help our police force and the government.
“Personally, I think that is why most of the villages in urban areas find it hard to deal with some of the issues to young ones nowadays.”
Meki believes bad things happen to the youth of today when parents are not doing their part in raising up their children.
“Everything starts from the family,” he says.
“We all know our culture very well, we know how to respect others but the behavior of many young people in urban areas shows that they belong to another world.
“I believe that if parents do their job well in raising and brining up their kids, these sorts of issues like youth gang and others can be avoided.
“Parents are the first teachers and families and homes are the children’s first school. We really need to look at how we bring up our children and how we raise them.
“We all know that the Samoan way of life is very simple if the children don’t listen to their parents, the chief of the family should talk to the parents and give them advice, or let the chief talk to the children and tell them what to do.
“That is what we called ‘fefa’asoa’i’, but that’s not what we are seeing today, many of our people don’t need village system.
“The government should enforce Village Council in all the villages in Samoa.
“Samoa is meant to be governed by chiefs and that’s how it should be.”