Josefa Steven Maiava sought answers and solutions to the growing problem of child vendors who are on the loose during the day and at night. A concerted effort by parents and government was just one of the solutions offered but many of those interviewed pointed to parents.
Norrie Lui, 25, Vaiusu
These “street vendors” are the future of Samoa. Why rob them of their childhood? Parents who relax while their children walk the streets of Apia at night are just disappointing parents. Their children should be safe at home or playing like the children they are. I think we should have a protest or a community watch to help rid the streets of this problem. The government should definitely create a law that stops these kids from walking around late at night to sell goods.
Naiomi Satui, 31, Vaitele Uta
It breaks my heart to see very young kids walk around town to sell little trinkets to help feed their families. I watched the video of the three street vendors beating up a homeless man and it was just wrong. I’ve also witnessed these kids, a little less than 10 years old, smoke and drink in Apia at night. This is happening because of their pathetic parents who can’t do their job of providing for their family. Our government should not overlook this fact. In fact, they should do everything in their power to get these poor kids off the street.
Joe Famuina, 28, Puipaá
I’ve noticed the constant increase of street vendors around Samoa for the past few years. These kids are so young and yet their parents force them to walk the streets at night to sell things to the public. It’s the parent’s job to provide for the family, not the kids. This is a problem that has to stop in Samoa. If the Government doesn’t do anything soon, our community should put our minds together to come up with a plan to help give back these kids childhood.
Pesamino Ifopo, 43, Fagaloa
This street vendor issue is the problem that is caused by parents. We all know that the cost of living is rocket high but we as parents should know that our duty is to put our kids through school not expose them on the street by selling products. This is the result of it so I really believe that all of these issues are caused by parents and I think the government should have a law that locks up the parents of these kids for exposing them in this kind of life.
Pule Eddy, 41, Lotopa
These street vendors are becoming a headache especially around town and I think the government should really look into the issue and come up with a law will take these kids off the street.
I mean there has already been a law but only in school hours so think about what happens after school hours and these are the hours that all these problems are rising from.
I also think the problem falls on the parents they are pushing their children to sell stuff on the road instead of at school what these kids are doing is supposed to be their parent’s job. This is a problem that the whole country needs to work together to solve.
Tom Ioelu, 39, Falelauniu
We are pointing the finger at who is responsible for all of this but the issue we should be looking at is how we are going to solve it. What should we do to help these kids? I also believe that all of this is caused by the environment that these kids are growing up in. What kind of background do they have and what kind of family do they have? I think that is the issue we need to look at but we can’t point a finger and say this is whose fault. No we should work together to come up with a solution to this problem to help them.
Sanele Peto Faasoo, 31, Tuanaimato
I think the problem starts from the parents. My reasons are simple.We parents have been given the gift from God which is our children and so it is our duty to make sure they have a good life. We are their guardians and we should do our job by helping them. The parents of these kids are exposing them to go sell stuff on the road which is not right so I think the government should have a law that police should lock up the parents of these kids instead of the kids because it is the parents who are creating the problem not the kids.
Afereti Esau Toa, 44, Tulaele
I think the cause of all of this is from the upbringing of the child. The parents are supposed to do their duty to take their children to school but instead they are doing the opposite. These kids haven’t had the chance to be kids because once they reach that age where they are supposed to have fun and act silly like every kid in Samoa their parents expose them to selling products and earning money which should be the parent’s job. So I think if anyone should be punished, it’s the parents not the kids because they are responsible for these kids and they should be held accountable for not doing what they are supposed to do.
Villame Namua, 32, Siumu
I see them walking around town with their trays of goodies every time I go to town. These kids are very young and in my opinion, they shouldn’t be selling anything at all. Their parents either sit back in the distance to observe them or they’re just relaxing at home while their children slave away to provide money for the family. We as a community, should come together to help fight this plague that’s affecting our streets. Also our government should implement a law that stops these young children from selling at night.