The youths of Samoa who are eligible to cast a vote have been told to make their voices heard during the upcoming General Elections.
The message was loud and clear at the E.F.K.S Hall where the Samoa Ala Mai Advocacy Group staged a rally to encourage young people to vote.
The rally featured American Samoa Congresswoman, Amata Aumua Coleman and caretaker Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, as guest speakers.
Pastor Lenny Solomona set the tone for the meeting.
“Every vote counts and your voices do matter in the decision making of Samoa,” he said. “Speak up by voting for the right people.”
Prime Minister Tuilaepa couldn't agree more.
“You are the future of Samoa. Therefore, this is the right time to start shaping you up to be great leaders,” he said.
“Every citizen of this country is entitled to vote and they all have the right to vote. Vote for your future and vote for your benefit. Your vote counts and your vote is the same as anybody else’s in this country.”
Speaking from a candidate’s perspective, Congresswoman Amata recalled her struggles to win the position she currently occupies.
“I started contesting for the election when I was young,” she said. “And I did not win the first time I tried, as a matter of fact, I am a professor of falling and standing up again.
“I’ve tried for so many years to get to where I am now.”
Her journey wasn’t easy, she said.
People looked down on her and judged her for always failing, but that did not deter her.
“If you fall down, get back on your feet, dust it off and keep fighting again. Never lose hope because dreams do come true.”
The message was embraced by the young people who attended the meeting.
Tapa’au Tau’ili’ili from Ululoloa said she was excited.
“This is my first time voting,” she said.
“I never thought that voting was such a big deal until today.”
Tapa’au said she learnt a lot from the programme and she was happy to have the chance to stand next to the Prime Minister and the American Samoa Congresswoman.
For Faitoto Tuia, she said she was inspired by the speakers.
“The good thing about this programme is that everyone gets to go home with something useful,” she said.
“The Prime Minister said in his speech that “variety is the spice of life” and after listening to all the variety of messages from all the influential speakers today, I think we are now ready more than ever to give our vote for the people whom we think should lead.”