“Youth Can, You can”

By Sarafina Sanerivi ,

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WORKING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN SAMOA: Some members of Y.C.A.N, Margaret Crawford, Menime Alapati, Theresa Mann and Mika Paituli.

WORKING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN SAMOA: Some members of Y.C.A.N, Margaret Crawford, Menime Alapati, Theresa Mann and Mika Paituli.

They say that a small act of kindness can make a difference. 

And that is fitting to describe a new organization formed in Samoa called the Youth Climate Action Network of Samoa. 

Guided by the theme, “Youth Can, You Can”, their main goal is to work at the grass roots level to promote a healthy environment and help with our fight against climate change.  

Y.C.A.N.S is made up of twelve members from all around Samoa. 

One of the co-founders of the organization, Theresa Mann, said the initiative to have this organization was born after attending a Pacific meeting that was held in Samoa last year on Climate Change. 

“There was a meeting that was held here last year, and the idea to have this organization was born out of that meeting,” said Theresa.

 “The meeting was about Climate Change.  All of our youth members participated in the meeting and we saw  there was a great need for the youths to work together for a great purpose, and that is to help fight against climate change and help to maintain and take care of our environment from the grass roots level. 

“That meeting inspired us to be advocates and leaders in our villages and youth groups to promote ways that can help with our fight against climate change. 

“Our organization is now an official organization. It is called Youth Climate Change Network of Samoa. Guided by the theme, Youth Can, You can, our aim is to promote and inspire other youth members to help fight against climate change.”

Moreover, Theresa said that their work focus mainly on the grass roots level. 

“Our members come up with different initiatives and we all work together with the communities, villages, Church Ministers and youth groups to achieve those initiatives.

“For example, one of the initiatives we had was to keep our beaches and hotels in Savaii clean. So we helped clean up the beaches for that. Some of our members have been helping out with replanting of mangroves and our forests.

“Organic farming is one of our main initiatives and we promote the use of natural soils and all.

“For organic farming as well, we also promote  vertical gardens for those families who do not have enough land to grow their crops.”

She went on to say that so far, they’ve been getting a lot of good feedback and support from the community for the work that they do. 

“The good thing about our initiatives is that we had a lot of support from the community. 

“The church ministers smfyouth members of the villages that we've  been to have really been helping us out with the work we do., which is a good thing and we are grateful for that because it motivates us to continue doing the work that we do.”

Empowering our youths to be better leaders for the future is another aim of the organization. 

“We often hear the saying that youths are the future of tomorrow. And we know that it’s the truth. That’s one of our other aims; to train them now to become leaders of tomorrow. So here at our organization, our twelve members are from around Samoa. They go back to their communities and are advocates for all the work that we are trying to promote here.”

Y.C.A.N participated in the celebration of the Environment Week in Samoa last week for the first time and are inviting more youths to be part of their organization.  

© Samoa Observer 2016

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