There is a bright side when you grow up in the villages.
It teaches you basic values most town dwellers don’t understand; values such as knowing how to survive on bare basics, respect, culture, and more.
Ialiu Malaga from Luatuanu’u knows this.
The 22-year-old was on his way home with baskets of firewood when the Village Voice team approached him for an interview.
“I feel safe in my village and thankfully there are no problems here because our village has very good governance,” Ialiu told the Village Voice.
“You can just walk around here in your own free will, knowing that you are protected and safe because no one wants to misbehave anymore due to the many fines and punishments ready for them if they ever do.”
Ialiu is the youngest of nine siblings.
“In my own experience so far, as a villager and a youth member, this is the best place to be to trained as you grow up.
“I mean, I work as a farmer and I wouldn’t know how to do that if I didn’t grow up seeing people in this village and how they value the work of their own hands.
“I wouldn’t know how to stand on my own two feet and contribute something to my family if it weren’t for this place.”
He added: “I mean, it is true plantations are not enough to earn a good living anymore but it’s more than enough to provide food for a lifetime for your family.
“We even have some people working at Apia and while some are doing that, some are serving different communities in this village and some are doing the same thing I’m doing; that is, being responsible for little things that our families need and working the land.”
Ialiu went on, saying: “You don’t need to find a far away destination to help you find yourself; if you need a place to help you grow and develop yourself, a place to teach you about the meaning of respect and peace -- come to the rural villages.
“I know some may think that the life here is too strict, but trust me, it all means well because it’s for your own good.”