F.A.S.T. rallies young Upolu voters
The Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party held a youth rally on Saturday with the stated goal of promoting informed decisions and voting choices among young Samoan voters.
Held at the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.) Youth Hall at Mulinuu, the event brought together young people from across Upolu ranging from five to 35.
They heard different presentations from party leaders including the F.A.S.T. party Chairman, Laauli Leuatea Schmidt, and other former Parliamentarians.
Following a devotional service led by Reverend Elder Enefatu Lesa of the C.C.C.S. Tanoalei’a, Laauli said the event was a chance to hear from the youth of Samoa and to show their voices are also valued.
“As you know we have reached three months since starting our journey around the country, covering 32 electoral constituencies in Upolu and 18 in Savaii,” said Laauli.
“We have a goal to contest in the General Election and we need to hear the thoughts of the whole country, the opinions of all of Samoa. And how do we do this? Samoa cannot all come to one place just as we cannot demand the mass attendance of everyone in one place as there are challenges in transportation and others.
“And as I have said, the true spirit behind this movement is wanting to meet and hear opinions and feelings from Alii ma Faipule, the women’s committee in villages (Saofaiga a tina ma tama’ita’i) and church ministers.
“But we also noted that there needed to be a special time with the youth as we understand that once the elderly are present, the youth tend to retract, leaving no chance to speak up.”
Saturday’s event was the second youth rally hosted by the new political party; the first being in Savaii last month after a two-week-long roadshow on the big island.
The crowd was broken up into focus groups to discuss various social issues faced by youth including domestic violence, substance abuse, unemployment, environmental issues as well as health.
The sessions were conducted as an open forum so the participants could ask questions and interact with speakers.
On Friday, the F.A.S.T. party conducted their roadshow in Falelatai and Samatau in support of their candidate, Pa’u Dr. Roy Ausage.