Twenty eight percent of Samoans are living below the basic needs poverty line, the day two keynote speaker told the Measina Samoa Conference at the National University of Samoa this morning.

Fuimapoao Beth Onesemo  Tuilaepa, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development spoke of the many challenges faced by the Samoan people nowadays.

“46% of women are against violence,” she said.

“There are still an increasing number of children mainly abused by their own relatives, 79% of children bullying other children.”

“There is also an increase in the number of people affected by lifestyle diseases especially non-communicable diseases.”

“The increasing number of theft in different organisations because people wanting to meet the needs of church donations, family fa’alavelaves and daily needs. The differences between urban and rural areas, the performances of boys and girls in schools, and also between private and public schools,” Fuimapoao said.

Fuimapoao added that these changes occurred due to traditional, religious, and personal beliefs.

Fathers have sexually abused their own daughters are also involved in such cases.  With the mentality that she is my daughter, I own her and I am the only one who knows what is good for her. There is a rising number in teenage pregnancy because parents do not spend enough time to consult their children about the many changes of life. Parents do not intend to teach their children but they intend to punish them.

Fuimapoao explained that these changes are a clear indication that the methods from the past cannot meet the challenges of today.”

She concluded by saying, “The solution that we might be working on to overcome these challenges is to trust and strengthening our ties between our culture and our christian beliefs.”

 “The main focus is for us to hand over to our children a peaceful and happy life. We all want a peaceful Samoa and be the place where all our children can dream and achieve their dreams.”

Fuimapoao Beth Onesemo Tuilaepa was a member of the Justice and Courts Administration, a consultant for the Samoa Police Services, and also the former Chief Executive Officer for Public Service Commission for six years.

Photo caption: Challenges faced Samoans today, Fuimaopo Beth Onesemo Tuilaepa, during her speech.

*Katalina Tovia is a final year media and journalism student at the NUS

 

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