Meet Ioane Su’a from the village of Gagaifolevao-Lefaga.
He is a rarity. Aged 23, Ioane is a strong believer that serving your elders is the most rewarding job on earth.
While many boys his age are rushing off to Apia to be employed and earn big money, Ioane has dedicated himself to looking after his parents and grandfather until they are called home.
He told the Village Voice that does his best every day to take care his family, as he is the only male youth in the house.
“Right now, I am the only male in the family besides my father,” said Ioane.
“So my family depend on me to do a lot of things for my family.”
“I’ve been taught that we get blessings if we honor, respect and take care of our elders. And I’ve seen it happen with some people and for me, that’s all I want to do.”
“I’ve also been told that these blessings will continue on to my children if I do the job well.”
“And for me, that’s my main goal in life. I dedicate my life to serving and taking care of my elders to the best of my ability, and we will see what happens.”
“I know it’s not much, but I do my best to make sure that there’s food to eat and that my parents and my grandfather are well-taken care of.”
And as a youth, Ioane said the behaviors of some of the youths nowadays sadden him.
“People say that we are the strength of the village (malosi o le nu’u) but this is not the case anymore for some of the youths.”
“We see them causing troubles in public places and most of them are wasting their energies and times doing useless stuffs.”
“I am not saying all of them (youths) are behaving in such ways, only some of them.”
“But it is not a good thing. Our families depend on us, we are the future of our families.”
“And this is the time for us to prepare for the future. What will do you give to your children if you just roam around now doing nothing but cause fights in public places?”
Ioane believes that technology and western ways is the main reason why some youths are addicted to these sort of behaviours.
“The reason why they behave like that is because they see it happen in other countries around the world. “
“And since they have access to internet and technology, they think it’s cool to copy the kids living overseas.”
“They think they will become famous if they form up gangs and fight with other boys on the streets.”
“But I think they should be spending time with their families and help out their parents. If they don’t have jobs, there are other options for them to choose from.”
“But then again, it’s up to them. This is just my own opinion.”