Shaping the lives of youth
The role of young people in villages have clearly identified.
As the backbone in terms of service and helping their families, the future is theirs to inherit.
For Atipala Viliamu, a youth from the village of Nofoali’i, it’s important that everyone play a role in nurturing strong leaders of the future.
“Other than the church, the entire village plays a role in shaping the youth,” he told the Village Voice.
“The village leaders, the parents, your neighbours and many others, they all play a big role. They all go hand in hand to shape our future.”
“An example will be when the village leaders see that the youth are starting to move too fast with their lives, and then they can put up some rules to help them out. Just like the village rules against drinking too much.”
As for the youth, their duty is to help move the village, church and their families forward.
When approached, Atipala was hard at work doing construction work for the church and he says that this is an example of how the youth can help the village.
“When the church youth does work like this, we all know its value,” he said.
“Although it’s our duty to help out the church, we will be blessed with the work that we’re doing. Any type of work we do in the church is very important.”
“Working hard like this teaches us a lot of things and in the end, we can all benefit from what we do. All the work we do for the church can also benefit our children in the future.”
Atipala is a prime example of a youth who knows his role in the village. When asked for help, he drops what he’s doing and helps out where he’s needed.
“I live up the road and whenever the pastor needs help; I get some of the other youth and come help him out,” he said.
“The church plays a big role with the village youth especially for us living in the rural areas. If the church youth programmes are done properly, it will reflect on the attitude of the youth.
“The way they walk, the way they act and the way they go about their daily lives shows how well the youth programmes are handled.”
“That’s how important youth programmes are in the vilalge. It instils morals for all us young people.”
Atipala says that the work they do together will not only help those they do the work for, but it also benefits them in regards to what they learn.
“For many of the youth in the village, we have stopped the abuse of alcohol due to what we’re taught at youth gatherings,” he said.
“I think the only thing many struggle with is smoking but they are slowing leaving it behind one step at a time. Aside from things we struggle with, we can learn a lot from church youths.”
“Not only through lessons but even work we do here can teach us a thing or two. An example is construction work; for those who don’t understand or have skills in this area can learn from those who do.”
“We try and help one another which expand our knowledge in different areas. With what they learn, they can help out their own families with it.”