Retired teacher eyes Parliament

By Sarafina Sanerivi ,

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Retired teacher, Fiso Evelini Taupa’u Fa’amoe, is stepping up among the candidates for the Palauli East constituency. The seat is currently occupied by Member of Parliament, Afoafouvale John Moors. 

But Fiso is quietly confident about her chances.

 “We all want to serve [Tautua] our people,” she said. 

Fiso said there are different kinds of tautua. 

To Fiso, her tautua to the country is through her tautua to her family, her village and her district. 

Therefore, improving the lives of the people of her constituency is her top priority.

“If we start from the bottom and start from the basics, we will eventually get to the top and the view will be so beautiful,” she said. 

According to Fiso, improving the lives of people and focusing on developing our people in mind, body and spirit, will enable them and “push them to do great things.”

Developing the minds of our people means “being well-educated,” said Fiso. 

“Education is very important and it is a must for our minds to be educated,” she said. “It can take you to different places and different countries. And it will make sure you have a better future.”

But the aspiring politician believes not every one is meant to work in offices.

 “If the eye of your pencil is not sharp, you don’t have to worry. Each and every one of us has different purposes and different talents from God.

“Find your purpose and let your talents shine,” she said. 

She referred back to when God created Adam. 

“God didn’t put Adam into an office and ask him to be the C.E.O of Eden. No, he told Adam to work the land.” 

“We all have different paths, not all of us were made to be doctors, teachers, pastors or a C.E.O; and that is why it is very vital to use God’s gifts given to you very wisely.”

Lastly, she lamented the deteriorating respect by Samoans for Sundays.

 “Samoa is founded on God, and I believe that with God, we will and we can do great things. That is why we also need to improve our lives spiritually. We should look at maintaining our country’s foundation and make it solid.”

In addressing these issues, Fiso said she would focus on the three areas by working together with the village council. 

“People will listen to our chiefs and they will accept the message easily if it comes from our leaders,” she said. 

Samoa is a well-organised society which functions well if everyone does their part, she said.

“We have the family institutions, the village, districts, churches and the government. If we all work together to develop and improve the lives of our people, then Samoa will be one big happy family.”

Fiso believes everything starts from families. 

As a retired lecturer for Samoan Studies who spent a lot of time around youth, Fiso believes development should be done with them in mind. “They are the future of this country,” she said. 

“But we are not paying much attention to them. We say that they are future leaders of this country but how will they be able to lead the country if most of them are just roaming around town? How are they going to lead if Tafa’igata is home for some of them? The increasing number of crime involving our youths is very alarming and it has to stop.” 

Fiso said Samoa needs to get her priorities right.

 “No one is perfect, but if we set our priorities right and if we all work together, then there will be no more problems.”

The potential candidate is calling for institutions for youths to be set up in every district. She said these institutions should not only offer to educate youths, they should equip them with skills so they can find jobs.

 “Most of the kids causing trouble in public places are there because they dropped out of school and they have nothing else to do. 

“But setting up institutions for our youths will provide them with the opportunities to discover their purpose and learn useful skills about farming, fishing, carving and elei making. 

“I say this because I know some of the kids roaming around town may be good in fishing, and good in using a hammer for building houses. But they don’t know these things because the doors for opportunities for them are closed and so they end up on the streets.”

Fiso also suggests that the government should “put the work and researches by S.R.O.S into good use.”

Fiso believes there are a lot of job opportunities and hidden money within these researches and it’s a waste that they are not testing and using the results of the researches.

The constituency of Palauli East includes of the villages of Vailoa, Vaitoomuli and Fa’ala. 

Asked if she was confident, Fiso said: “I will let God be the judge of that, I will accept whatever the result will be.

 “If this is what he wants me to do, then so be it. If not, then I will not get mad because it’s His will.”

Fiso Evelini Fa’amoe married the late Fa’amoetauloa Vasa and they have four children. 

She is from the villages of Palauli, Salelologa and Tafua in Savai’i. And Manono, Faleseela and Nofoalii in Apia but she is now residing at Vaivase. 

The 68-year-old started her academic life at Palauli Primary School making her way up to Samoa College. 

She became a teacher in the year 1967. In 1990, she graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Education and became a part of the Curriculum Unit at the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture. 

In 1998, she became a lecturer for Samoan Studies at the National University of Samoa. In 2006, she graduated with a Masters Degree of Applied Linguistic from the New Castle University in Australia. 

She retired in 2014 from N.U.S but was asked to come back and teach for the first semester of the year 2015.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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