Changes in societies are unavoidable.
Some changes we go through are small and some changes are big.
That is the opinion of Lanu Ponifasio from the village of Levi Saleimoa.
Speaking to the Village Voice yesterday, the 34-year-old said there have been many positive and negative changes in Samoa.
“The positive changes are all the developments by our governments we now see not only in Apia but also in the villages as well,” she said.
“And I take my hat off to the government for all the good projects and developments for the benefit of our people.”
However, Lanu believes that underneath all those beautiful and flash developments, lies the real issues that need solutions.
Lanu said one negative development in Samoa is the increasing number of children selling goods in the town of Apia.
“I blame no one but the parents of these children for this issue,” said Lanu.
“I am a parent as well, I have children and I can’t picture my children walking around selling things on the streets.”
“I would never do that to my children. We don’t have a lot of money as well, but to me, all that matters is that we are happy and that my children are healthy and happy.”
“Even if we only have some boiled taro or banana with tea for dinner, that’s fine with me. As long as I look at my children and see them grow up healthy.”
“If you look at these street vendors, some of them are only 7 and 9 years old. They are too young to be doing things like that.”
“That is the responsibility of the parents. To find way to get money and to look after the children because they are gifts from God.”
“If we take good care of them and push them hard to achieve great things in life, they will take care of us when we grow old.”
“But sending them on the streets to look for money is not the best way to raise our children.”
“Because at this young age, they are exposed to a lot of things. Especially for the young girls, I feel sorry for them every time I see them on the streets of Apia.
“Their mothers should be very careful with sending them on the streets.”
“Needless to say, most of these children are now causing a lot of troubles in public places and some of them are involved with crimes as well.
“And I blame the parents for this, for not doing their job and not taking care of their children.”
Nevertheless another negative change she raised is the increasing number of crimes involving the youths in Samoa.
“This is a very bad thing because we’ve seen the number of youths roaming around town causing troubles here and there affecting the lives of other people.”
“My advice to the government is that they should come with different programmes for these youths so that they can use their time and energy wisely instead of causing troubles in public places.”
“We can send them to prison as well but most of them don’t learn their lessons after spending their times in prison. So we need to come up with something to avoid all of these bad behaviors.”
“Because this is creating a bad image for Samoa. We are trying to attract more tourist to Samoa and if tourists and visitors come to Samoa and be greeted with these behaviors then that will be very bad for us.”
“We all know that tourism is contributing a lot to our economy and it’s helping out with the development of our country. So if we are serious about promoting tourism in Samoa, we need to do something about the behaviors of our youths.”