From Samoa to Geneva, Fa’amanu Kelemete’s journey

By Nefertiti Matatia and Anina Kazaz ,

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PROUD SAMOAN WOMAN: Fa’amanu Kelemete in Geneva.

PROUD SAMOAN WOMAN: Fa’amanu Kelemete in Geneva.

Fa’amanu Kelemete is on the trip of a lifetime.

The eldest child of Kelemete Kelemete and the late Marianive from the village of Faleula, is representing Samoa at the 38th session of the Human Rights Council held in the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

The meeting aims to promote human rights around the globe. The Council addresses situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them, which gives the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention.

Ms. Kelemete, 20, is in her third year of studying Bachelor of Education, at the National University of Samoa.

For her to be chosen to participate, she says it is an honour. She is excited because it will provide a platform to inspire and make a difference in the Samoan community.

 “To me it is important to get new information about human rights and how the other countries use these rights in their own nation,” she said.

 “The Y.W.C.A. in Samoa we help the young women to rise up and to have a voice. To speak freely without any fear or hesitation. By helping someone else is rewarding and I enjoy doing it because it relates to what I am studying in school, becoming a teacher.

 “It is good to listen and observe because when we head out to villages in Samoa to educate and inspire women, we would be able to strategize and try out the methods that these other different people have used,” she describes.

She explained: “I was really nervous and scared but when I made it from the Auckland airport that is when I found the confidence in myself. It is calming knowing that you feel the breath of God behind me in every step that I have taken forth,” she said.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, she stated that the journey for her was never easy; losing her mother in 2008 was the biggest loss for her. 

To describe her journey it will be from pain to power, she said.

 “I feel for my father because he has raised us all, he has worked hard to put us through school and it was not easy. All of us are still in school and paying off for our education is costly when at the same time he has to place a meal on the table for us.

“Being here signifies the grace of God, in molding and shaping me for his purpose. I thank God for this great opportunity because out of the many females out there, he called me to be his mouthpiece here. Being away from home and stepping into a new chapter has made me realize how big the world is.

Being a leader was passed onto her when her mother passed away, she believes leaders are not born they are made through hard times.

 “The passing of my mother was hard but as they say time heals, there is always a certain point in life when a child would really need her mother. Being the eldest requires for me to be strong for my younger sisters, so they would have someone to look up to. This is where it all started from leading my younger sisters.

 “I believe God has a beautiful plan waiting for me and it has just started, everything is falling into place and the more I fall into the unknown and trusting in him the further that I see the wonders of his love.

 “We all have to wait and have faith despite the challenges in life that we face, praise God for the tough times because he will reward you in the end.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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