The hard work put in to give our visiting tourists a great first impression is something to be commended.
We see a lot of it on the drive to and from the airport where villages show much passion in keeping everything organized for tourists to see just how beautiful Samoa can be.
As the Village Voice approached the village of Faleasiu there was a band of men led by Lavilavi Peseti building brand new rubbish stands.
Aged 52, Lavilavi says that the new stands are their way of keeping Samoa beautiful.
“Our village has united to provide rubbish stands for families to help keep Samoa beautiful,” he said.
“We don’t accept untidy families so we do this so they can put their rubbish somewhere to be picked up by rubbish trucks.”
Lavilavi continued to explain that this isn’t their first time doing this project because keeping things clean is very important to them.
“We have done this many times here at our village,” he said.
“When we see that the rubbish stand is worn out then we renew them with fresh pieces of wood. This is our way of giving to our people.
“This is the idea of our village leaders because we want those who drive by to see how clean our people are and that we know how to handle rubbish.”
The village has also gone as far as to protect their work from anyone who wants to ruin the idea of a beautiful Samoa.
“We work hard to build these so we have rules to protect them,” Lavilavi said.
“If anyone tries to destroy these rubbish stand then we will give them a fine. We will ask for about five to ten boxes of tin food. Everyone in the village knows and follows these rules well because they respect the work we are doing.
“We don’t have many problems here in our village, we just try and teach good common sense and provide a means to exercise those values.
“We don’t want anyone to be messy or to throw and rubbish in the ocean.”
Lavilavi also said that the project relies on no one else’s strength but their own.
“We have never requested any assistance from the government to help with this,” he said.
“For work like this, we rely heavily on the strength of our villagers. We like to think of ourselves as an example of what can be achieved if a village stands together in unity.
“We have already completed three rubbish stands and we are making our way to ten all together.”