“The biggest problem in the world could have been solved when it was small.”
This famous quote by Witter Bynner sums up the opinion of a 67-year-old father from the village of Lufilufi.
His name is Tomanogi Lene. He believes that every problem we face has their own solutions.
But the key is our ability to work together.
During an interview with the Village Voice, he wanted to talk about the problems involving the youths in Samoa.
“This is becoming a big issue in Samoa,” said Tomanogi. “We say that our children are the future of our families, villages, churches and country.
And if we continue to have this problem of our children and the youths fighting and causing trouble in public places, then that is going to be a big problem.
“I am not saying that all our children are doing this kind of behaviours. However, if we don’t stop it now, more and more children and youths will be influenced and be involved.”
Tomanogi strongly believes that it takes a whole village to raise a child.
“We all know that the family provides the first learning platform for our children.
“So the parents are responsible for teaching them and show them the right ways to live their lives.
“In Samoa, family is where we build a strong foundation for our children.
“Therefore, it is very important for the parents to build and make sure they build a strong foundation for the lives of our children.
“They should teach them to be respectful, teach them about God, teach them how to be humble and about our culture.
“As they continue to grow up, they will go to Sunday school, school and interact with other people.
“Pastors, teachers, matai’s and all these other people all contribute to raising our children.
“They work as body organs, if one part fails to do their work, then there will be a problem with our children.
“But if we continue to be responsible, and work together, nothing will ever go wrong with our children.”
Nevertheless, Tomanogi said our youths and children will continue to do such bad behaviours if we don’t do anything about it.
“For this particular issue of youths, it starts from families as well. But it’s not just that, we all have a part to play in avoiding this issue.
“We need to work together to prevent this kind of behaviour from happening in the future. Prevention is always better than cure.
“We say that it takes a whole village to raise a child. And to me, if we want our children to enjoy a prosperous tomorrow, we need to work hand in hand in unity.
“Actions speaks louder than words. It’s time we stop talking and discussing all the possible solutions and start working together.
“The problem may be big, but the solution is just simple and small.
“If we all agree to work together to prevent all these, then we will not have to worry about it happening.
“Families can work together to control and straighten the behaviours of our children and youths. The church ministers have their part as well, by training them spiritually.
“The village councils are there to control and guide the behaviours of the youths.
“The teachers and government also have their own part.
“Together we can build a better future for our children and our country. We seriously need to stop with all the discussions. I mean it’s good so that we can see the different views and opinions of people. But we also need to walk the talk and do something about it before it’s too late.”