Two prominent leaders in the entertainment and music industry have stepped up to make a difference in the lives of a growing number of children resorting to the streets to make a living.
Musician, Su’a June Ryan, and award winning dance choreographer, Seiuli Allan Alo, have committed their time and talent to support a project by A.D.R.A. to utilize the children’s talents to form a group of dancers and singers.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Su’a said the programme is for free and everyone is invited. Their target are street vendors.
“This is for a good cause,” she said. “It comes down to the commitment of the child. How we see the programme works for them is to give them something different rather than just leaving them on the streets to look for money and then home.
“I will be coaching these children how to sing and I am looking at some Samoan music as well, some contemporary music that will grab the attention.
“[And] also it depends on Seiuli Allan Alo and his theme, so it’s up to Seiuli to see what the theme will be and I will work my music around that.”
Su’a said Seiuli’s role is extremely important.
“He’s the choreographer so when the show at the end of the year happens it won’t be just pure singing,” she said.
“The show should have a theme where the children will move to the music and sing. We are very positive that it may be a Christmas theme or what Christmas is like in Samoa. So there won’t be any white Christmas, they won’t be singing about snow.”
Su’a and Seiuli plan to approach the families of the vendors about the programme.
“We will approach the parents and devise a schedule that we can all benefit from to maximize the good use of their free time that will keep them from trouble,” Seiuli said. “It will provide the kids a free training on specialized skills and technical skills in the performing arts that will enable them to find employment in the tourism industry.
“It will also rebuild their confidence in reclaiming their own sense of ownership of the positive pathways they could direct their lives into rather than it being wasted on the streets.”
Su’a went on to say that she had done something similar for a different group in the past.
“It’s like they have their own little space that they can identify with so this singing programme would be something they can identify with that they can consider as their own outlet.”
For Seiuli, his involvement is all about being the difference and making a difference.
“This is definitely not a credit seeking for anyone it is not seeking for anyone’s glory but if any glory is sought it is God’s glory,” he said.
“[But] the children need to know that there are people interested in them then trying to provide them with something that are different that is their choice and they can benefit from and they can dream into because music is very important.
“Singing is the most affordable because everyone has a voice, so there won’t be any money spent on this programme.
“So that they know it’s not a social activity and that they can inspire to certain level but as for me I like to take them to competitions overseas.”
As for Seiuli he said he is offering his expertise through dance development and the performing arts.
“This is an extension of our outreach work at the University of the South Pacific and Samoa Arts Council assistance is to provide a platform for not only the able but the not so advantaged as well,” he said.
“You give a man a fish; he will be hungry the next day. You teach him how to fish he and his family will never be hungry ever again.
“No one proclaims our program is the answer to the social problems we are facing in Samoa but we hope that what we have to offer will provide a small and humble solution to some of the pressing issues of our young people today.
“This is done from the heart with passion and love for our people and in it we hope will glorify our Lord God almighty as he is the giver of our talents and life.”
Su’a went on to say that the programme would not be a social club programme.
“This will not be a social club event, because if we are going to give these children our time then they need to give us their time too, it works both ways,” she said. “So at the end it depends on these children whether they want to take this programme further or not.”