“Don’t look down on yourself”

Child vendors participating in the Samoa Victim Support Group Junior’s “Buddy Up” programme visited the Samoa Observer Group headquarters at Vaitele yesterday.

The programme promotes the education of child vendors and is an initiative of the Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG) Juniors.

It is funded by the International Labour Organisation (I.L.O.).

The Editor of the Samoa Observer, Mata’afa Keni Lesa, took the visitors on a tour of the newspaper and explained how a newspaper company operates. 

“The Samoa Observer newspaper was first established in 1978 and it serves to inform, educate and be a watchdog for the public,” he said.

The group were also given insights on the role of the newspaper’s Marketing department and how advertising generates revenue for the company.

They were then taken up to the newsroom, where they met some journalists, and taken down to the printing press – the engine room of a newspaper company. 

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While the newspapers are printed, there is also an online edition of the newspaper, which the Editor said caters for a growing online community. 

Mata’afa appealed to the youngsters to believe in themselves and the power of education to change one’s life.

“Don’t look down on yourselves,” he said. 

“Education will secure you a better future through whatever chosen career you will decide on.

“It is important to keep striving despite challenges that you face and do not let anyone tell you that you’re worthless or you won’t amount to anything.

“We all come from humble beginnings,” he added. 

Speaking of his own childhood experiences, the Editor said when he was young he helped his mother sell coconuts and leis at the market.

A member of the SVSG Juniors, Sione Fetuai said it is important to build the self-esteem of child vendors so they can choose a better future through education.

“The programme aims at lifting the spirits of child vendors with the hope of showing them that there is a bigger world out there for them.

“And that living their lives on the streets is not an only option, through education; it can empower their lives to being successful employees of various companies that is the reason behind the visits,” he added.

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