Rally targets youth vote
Samoa Ala Mai group will be organizing a youth rally to inspire youths to vote freely in the General Elections, three weeks from now.
During a press conference yesterday, Lemalu Nele Leilua, Chairperson for Samoa Ala Mai and Aiolupotea Maiava Visekota, the Vice Chairperson, announced the rally with the theme ‘Youth vote, youth count’.
“This is the first time we will be having this type of rally to help promote more freedom for the youth to vote,” Lemalu said
The group felt these programmes are ‘important and vital’ because the youth is the future of our nation and every one of their votes count.
“We have decided that in order to build leaders of the future, we need to give them education about how to vote” Lemalu said “We thought it would be appropriate to organize this so that in the future, they will keep on enjoying it knowing that their votes count.” Samoa Ala Mai has hosted three voter education workshops for the youth of Samoa gaining a lot of positive feedback. This rally will be the finale of those workshops.
“Most of the youth after each workshop come to me asking if we can come individually to their congregation or youth group,” Lemalu said “They say that they really need these kinds of sessions with their youth fellowship.” They even received some positive comments for their workshops from a few adults as well.
“One of the adults who attended our workshops said to us that the youths are very lucky to get this opportunity because back in the days, they were only told to just vote.”
Those attending the rallies will be entertained with different dance groups and singers and will also receive motivational speeches from speakers visiting from American Samoa and the United States.
The speakers include Catherine Allan (the United States) and Congresswoman Aumua Amata Coleman (American Samoa).
“The key thing with Aumua is her journey because she did not try once, she tried about five times to be the Congresswoman,” Aiolupotea said
“After many tries, she made it so this is an underlined message for all candidates that you should not give up but keep trying.”
Samoa Ala Mai feels that the youth of Samoa deserve to vote for who they feel will contribute the most to this country rather than voting for who they are told to vote for by adults.
According to the group there have been a lot of changes in regards to the elections where Matai’s, village leaders and family heads are taking the elections seriously but there are still forms of corruption around, and training the youth how to vote properly will help in future elections.
As for their plans for youth if they are elected (or not)? “Elected or not elected; going in or not going in; Samoa Ala Mai is here to stay,” Lemalu said. “We have a lot of plans in regards to youth unemployment.” Lemalu said “Our plans for youth will be in place for the next five years. Not only in our constituencies or villages but throughout Samoa.”
“Because we know that the youth have potential, yet they lack the financial support so we will work with them,” Lemalu said
The rally will take place on Thursday 18th of February from 9am-12noon at E.F.K.S. Hall, Sogi with free admission.