A bright future awaits people with a plan.
To be able to plan though, one needs the right opportunities.
When it comes to jobs, Samoa is not the best place to be.
Konelio Togia, aged 46 of Falefa and Afega, knows this.
“The only poverty that exists in Samoa is the lack of opportunities for the people to earn a living,” he told the Village Voice.
“There are not enough opportunities available in Samoa for our people.
“I don’t know about your view but to me Samoa may have all the resources for living but the opportunities to work are limited.
“Nowadays, we mostly depend on money for most of the things we do in life. Like cultural activities and fa’alavelave, church contributions, sending our children to school and others.
“We may have a plantation to depend on for food but in terms of money we need to work to earn money.”
Konelio said some employment opportunities have gone to foreigners.
“To prove what I’m saying, if you look around Apia and most of the shops, the Samoan hires the Chinese and many other business people from overseas to do the work.
“Instead of hiring our own people who have the same knowledge they prefer the foreigners. This is what I mean about the lack of opportunities.”
Konelio said the government and businesses owners should consider these issues.
“What’s work without hiring our own people? They deserve opportunities because we are the same.
“We were born in Samoa and we also know how things are done in our Samoan ways. If you think we have no knowledge, then you’re wrong.
“We’ve lived here and anything done or developed here we do know what to do and not to do.”
Konelio said the lack of working opportunities impact on families.
“I love life here in Samoa and there is no other place like my home here.
“But then it’s really hard when we know people from outside our country are hired to do the work while we are trying to fit into our own country.
“It’s really hard to hear over and over again that “O Samoa e alofa” when nothing is done really to stop it.”
He said it’s the same case within his family.
“Knowing there is lack of opportunities in Samoa I send my eldest son overseas to have a life and help us out. He was looking for a job but couldn’t find one so I ended up sending him overseas. He now works in Australia.”
“Our son is also the one trying to fix our house because we moved here not long ago.
“Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that people in Samoa are living in poverty. No! There is no poverty in Samoa but the lack of opportunities for people to earn money.”