The end of one journey is only the beginning of another one.
That is true for 18 graduates of the Youth Employment Programme (Y.E.P) carried out by the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, One-U.N. Youth Employment Programme and the Samoa Culture Center.
The training targeted unemployed youths, teaching them traditional knowledge and skills such as siapo making, handicrafts weaving, carving, traditional food preparation, and cultural entertainment.
The four-week programme hopes that by the end, the graduates will be able to secure employment through utilising their new found skills.
Reverend Letaulau Pesaleli, of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa at Nu’u, congratulated the graduates.
“We are all equal in the eyes of God,” he said. “We also have different talents and callings, all we need to do is realize those talents, work hard and utilize it to the best of our abilities.”
Twenty students started the programme.
Nanai Sofavala A.C.E.O of the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development challenged the graduates to start working on achieving their dreams now that they’ve completed the course.
“We all have dreams,” he said. “Everyone wants to succeed and everyone has dreams. Unfortunately, not all of us will have opportunities to get scholarships overseas.”
But the programme has provided them with such a golden opportunity.
“That is why I want to thank the U.N. and the Samoa Culture Center for supporting and embracing this programme. A lot of business people, especially in the tourism sector can now employ these graduates.”
Director of U.N.E.S.C.O, Alain Godonou hailed the programme as a great success.
“I am very pleased and honored to deliver a speech before all of you, especially knowing the magnitude and power this event has, looking around and seeing young people graduating and contributing to cultural preservation of Samoan rich culture and becoming highly demanded in the employment market,” he said.
“The project vowed to develop skills of young people in the cultural realm in order to contribute to these high-end aspirations and vision of Samoa as a fast moving country with social, cultural and economic awareness.
“Every initiative needs a spark and every spark starts small.
“With that in mind and as the main engine for development, it has been our mission collectively to empower each young person and equip them with the right applied tools as well as theoretical knowledge as to how to use their powerful energy in a good direction that helps making a country a better place.”