"Rides with Pulenuu" for families in need
A "Rides with Pulenuu" (village mayors) initiative is being promoted by non-Government organisation Brown Girl Woke (B.G.W) President Maluseu Doris Tulifau to help families in need of assistance.
The local version of the programme was inspired by America's "Ride Along" programme.
The idea of "Rides with Pulenuu" started when Maluseu visited the villages and was joined by the village mayor to deliver groceries to families within the village where the village mayor had given her background knowledge about what was happening in communities and what they needed at the village level.
"Going to the villages and doing the grocery runs, we always call the pulenuu because it's easier to find the families and then also that's protocol, you got to go to the pulenuu before you go into the village," she said.
"I was thinking that I need to start promoting this for my kids, like the next time we go for the grocery run, we are going to sit with the pulenuu and talk about politics because they also know what is going on, the needs of the village and the families and voting."
She stated that the idea of the programme is basically going to the village with the aim of understanding what it needs and what they can do provide to sustain and develop their needs.
The idea was inspired by America's "Ride Along" Programme, a programme whereby a civilian can spend a shift in the passenger seat of an emergency vehicle, observing the work day of a Police officer, firefighter, or paramedic.
One of the needed items she had discovered when visiting families in the village of Fasitoo-tai with the village mayor Tagoiega Maotua was wheelbarrows that were needed for gathering coconuts.
Maluseu stated that families are more open and less hesitant when their group visits the families together with the village mayor.
She further stated that the village mayor had refused to accept any monetary gift given to him and chosen to give that money to families in the village that weren't on the groups list of families that needed assistance.
"I learned so much stuff about the village. It would be different if people just refer names to us and we go and just drop it off but being with the pulenuu he tells you more and then more information about the family too and why they have certain things," she said.
She explained that one of the families they visited with the village mayor had a nice house but with further information from him, Maluseu realised that more and more people are in need of assistance and they could find out more with the assistance of the village mayor.
"It's a project that I want to promote, I haven't started it. I want to start promoting it just to see what happens like to promote being leaders and the leadership and because of voting and stuff because I want kids to know what politics are about and how we can make sure there is a change," she added.