“Life in the villages is peaceful,” that is the opinion of Fa’i Tafili, a 22-year-old male from the village of Sa’anapu.
As a youth, Fa’i believes that there is a big difference between living in the villages and in Apia. “I know this because I have been to Apia a number of times, and I have seen the difference,” he says.
“This is because there is too much freedom in Apia not like back here in the villages.”
Having said that, Fa’i believes that the main problem is that most of the youths living in Apia are not staying with their parents.
“So they end up being pressurized by others because they are not under the care of their parents.
“But here in the village, youths get to stay with their parents, and the behaviour and attitudes are guided by the rules in the villages.
“I am not saying that we don’t have problems like that in the villages, we do, but it’s not as serious as the problems we have in Apia. Now that’s too much.”
He believes the right solution is for the children to stay with their parents.
“I think the right solution is for them to go back to their families and for their parents to discipline their children. If you stay with your parents and listen to them, you will never end up like that because our parents only teach us what they believe we should do right and what’s best for us.
“No parent will ever chase his son to go and fight on the streets and break into people’s houses.
“I stay with my parents and I am looking after my parents at the moment. Not all of us were born to be teachers, and doctors. I didn’t do well in school so I am now looking after my parents and our plantation.
“No one is perfect in this world, we all make mistakes and we learn from the mistakes other people make as well.
“To me, I see my other brothers who are out there causing trouble and I feel for them because while they are out there causing trouble, they are also destroying themselves and the image of their parents as well. And if they end up in jail, that will affect their lives.
“So my only advice is for them to go back to where it all starts, and that is family. We say that family is where love begins and never ends. And I think that the best solution is for them to go back to their families.”
Another 22-year-old also from Sa’anapu, Toefo’i Auvili couldn’t agree more to what Fa’i said. However, he also believes that youths in the villages sometimes cause troubles similar to the youths in Apia.
“We also have problems with the youths back here in the villages,” he said.
“I think the only difference is that back here in the village, we have strong village councils to look after and monitor the behavior of the youths. “Most of the youths are scared of the matai’s and the elders in the village that’s why the problems are not as bad as the problems in Apia. And we also don’t have youth gangs back here in the village.
“Here in the village, life is simple and peaceful,” he added.
“If you don’t do well in school and you are not good at sport, you have to have a plantation and have to look after your family. So you hardly see youths roaming around because if you are unemployed, you go and work on a plantation to provide for your family.”