The National Youth Week and Father’s Day was officially opened yesterday by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi.
Youth representatives, government ministries, non-governmental organizations, village mayors, schools, as well as organizations that cater for those with living with disability participated in a parade and marched from the Fire Station to the Government Building.
The Prime Minister said the theme for this week’s celebration is also relevant for our environment which is ‘a safe space for all’.
“Father’s day serves to highlight the significance of Samoan fathers not only in families but also villages and churches for their different roles."
“It is why our government has concluded that your contributions are not limited but greatly needed for allocated programs held tomorrow, which will discuss further elaborations of opportunities providing safe places for all the Samoan people."
“The government has looked into developments for all districts in our country and for them to converse on ways and showcase their views for the betterment of our people.”
He described the participation of district representatives in the program as significant as they are leading the Father’s Day Symposium, and their guidance is important for the development of their works in their districts.
The Prime Minister said: “As for the Youth Week, a tree planted today, if looked after properly it will become a tree grown to be fruitful. The Samoan government together with organizations like United Nations, Australian Government, Japanese Government, Chinese Government and New Zealand Government, all aim for safer opportunities to develop the lives of youths. It is because you are very important to the development of Samoa; you are future leaders. There is only one day allocated by the United Nations for the whole world to celebrate youths but a whole week has been given by the government of Samoa for all of you.”
The challenges facing the youth today in Samoa was not lost on the Prime Minister, who used the occasion to warn young people to be weary of ‘bad examples’ from western nations.
“Our youths nowadays have been greatly influenced by bad examples from overseas countries. It includes abuse of alcohol consumption, misuse of cellphones that expresses vulgar languages; those are cases that are still being witnessed."
“You all should stay away from those actions and not imitate it, not only that you all should remember that overuse of cellphones will affect your mind."
“It is important that parents should be aware never to give cellphones to your children because so many children waste their time on it while they don’t do their school works."
“On behalf of the Samoan government I wish all fathers’ of Samoa a happy Fathers’ Day and also to officially open the 2018 Youth week in Samoa with its theme of safe opportunities for all,” he added.
The speeches were followed by entertainment from various youth groups with the event scheduled to run for three days. It will close tomorrow afternoon. Father’s Day has been celebrated in Samoa for the past 13 years while youths have been commemorated in youth week for 30 years.