Fuaifale Apulu, 69-years-old from the village of Faleasi’u understands that a child upbringing is a community effort.
As we often refer to children as the future of our families, villages and country, Fuaifale believes everyone has a part to play.
“You know children are gifts from God,” she said.
“They are blessings; they were given to us to raise them well and look after them. There’s that other phrase we always hear- No man is an island, that’s precisely the case when it comes to taking care of our children as well.”
“You alone cannot raise a child. I believe that we all need to pitch in to help one another in fostering the futures of our families, villages and country.”
She went on to say that it’s about time we stop pointing fingers and blame others when our children misbehave.
Instead, Fuaifale said we should all work together.
“People start pointing fingers at others once the children get in trouble.”
“You know the life of a child begins at home. But it doesn’t end there. There are other institutions that they go to as they go up.”
“So at home, that’s where it all starts for them. The parents should start by teaching them about how to live their lives.”
“Start them young and they will never depart from it when they grow up. That’s in the bible and it’s clear that if we do a great job in raising them up at a very young age, then they will grow up to be good people.”
“But raising a child isn’t just the parent’s job. In Samoa, we’ve got a lot of social institutions where our children can learn a thing or two from to help them with life.”
“For example, churches, schools, governments, and others.”
Fuaifale said that since parents are the first teachers, they are responsible for building a strong foundation for our children.
“I have children of my own. Some of them are overseas, and the others are here with me.”
“For me, the main thing I keep telling my children is that they should stay humble and to always lean on to God for everything and anything in life.’
“However, I don’t just tell them to do that. I also show them the right way to live their lives. And that is very important.”
“You can’t expect you children to follow what you say when you don’t do it too. They will never listen to you if you say something and then do the opposite of what you are saying.”
“We must remember that everything starts at home. So if you succeed in bringing them up the right way, they will be great leaders for our families, churches, villages and country.”
“Feed them with love, words of encouragement and the word of God.”
Moreover, Fuaifale reiterated that if we want good leaders to lead our country in the future, we all need to work together to build strong leaders.
“You are aware that they are the future of our families, churches, villages and country. We were once kids just like our children. And I believe that we should continue on with how our parents raised us by disciplining us and with all the contribution from the village councils, Sunday schools and pastors who contributed to our upbringing.”
“If we do that, our load will be lighter. We need to support each other to make sure that we all contribute to the future of our country.”