Youth organisation elects new executives

By Vaelei Von Dincklage 01 March 2021, 5:00PM

The Youth and Students for Peace Samoa (YSP) not-for-profit has elected a new executive to lead their youth-focused organisation forward.

A ceremony was held last Saturday evening at the Government Prayer house, Palisi in recognition of the newly-elected YSP executives.

National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) Vice Chancellor’s executive officer, Mandy Skelton-Keil, was invited to be the guest speaker and share her experiences with guests and the nine new executives.

Ms Skelton-Keil spoke of the difficulties she faced and how she had her own dreams and hopes of how she wanted to help others.

“Regardless of where you were born, what language you speak at home or what church you worship in, I wanted the future to be a better place for these young people because I'm looking at my own children when I am not around in this world,” she said.

“I wanted the opportunity to share in the benefits of a cohesive society that is working together for a better today and an even better tomorrow.”

Emphasising the need to build a safer and healthier society, Ms Skelton-Keil pointed to education as a platform that could enable a person to achieve a better life.

“After I had my fourth child I went back to study for a degree and I did it then I stayed focused on achieving my second degree but during this time my husband passed away, my best friend had brain hemorrhage then was taken to New Zealand for treatment and a peer worker committed suicide.”

She said these tragedies occurred within four days of each day, throwing her life into chaos at that time.

“I went numb for a couple of days to be honest. It was so hard to take so much in all at the same time.

“Yes, there had to be a period of adjustment of learning how to cope intrinsically. 

“Hence it was not a barrier to my participation in the lives of my children.”

Ms Skelton-Keil then encouraged the newly elected executives to rise up and fulfill their duties as leaders and she understands that being a leader comes with a huge responsibility.

"As leaders, we must rise to the challenges we face instead of being drowned within. 

“I needed to recognize my values and my hopes (my extrovert) side. 

The side where God is the leader, it's where I find peace and I needed to spend time and respect the fact that it was the only peace I could encounter is when I surrendered him my sorrows and fears.

“I could sit back and dwell in such sorrows but looking at my young children seeking in me their direction, I couldn’t sit down and cry, I couldn’t give them doubt for their future.  

“I had to face the challenges and pushed myself through – from the moment of their births they have given me a sense of wonder and love that inspires me. 

“They are beautiful, happy, loving and affectionate children and I am blessed to be their mother.”

Looking at her own life, Ms Skelton-Keil said she has worked hard to be a good mother and worked to ensure her children stayed focused.

I have worked hard to be a good mother, keep drilling into them to always stay focused and always give God all the burdens so they could be peaceful and not resort to many burdens children face in this world (eg) drugs, alcohol, prostitution, suicide etc.”

The new elected YSP board members are Yongkwon Suafa, Anthea Adam, Claudia Muagututia, Esther Key, Luaipouomalo Beatrice Maualaivao, Meehwa Suafa, Marc Membrere and Yumi Epati Talaave.

The YSP Samoa's vision is to be a global family of young people building a world of peace with true love. Their mission is to advance world peace by empowering youth and students to become global citizens through character education and peace projects supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

By Vaelei Von Dincklage 01 March 2021, 5:00PM
Samoa Observer

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