Theme: Green Skills for Youth: towards a sustainable world “The tree planted today will benefit tomorrow’s youth”
Today on the 26th of August, 2023 we Officially Open the Commemoration of the Samoa National Youth Week 2023, an occasion that holds immense promise for our Country's future and celebrate through various national and youth-led activities on the theme, “Green Skills for youth: Towards a Sustainable development”, resonates profoundly with the Government and Stakeholders collective vision for a brighter, greener, and more sustainable Samoa, which in our context “The tree planted today, will benefit tomorrow’s youth”. This analogy conveys the essence of what the Government and youth stakeholders has set out to accomplish in investing to youth development. And as we embark on this journey together, guided by the maxim, "The tree planted today will benefit tomorrow's youth," let us reflect on the significance of this metaphor and the responsibilities it bestows upon us.
The tree, a symbol of growth, resilience, and interconnectedness with nature, mirrors the aspirations we have for our young people. Just as a seed planted with care blossoms into a mighty tree that provides shelter, shade, and nourishment, so too shall our investment in our youth flourish into a future abundant with opportunities, innovation, and prosperity. It is a seed planted with sincere hope to provide a skills development to enhance full participation and contribution of youth to all the aspects of development, whether economic, social or leadership and good governance will contribute to their future achievements.
Youth are valuable members of Samoan society. They are defined in the Samoa National Youth Policy as those within the age group of 18 -35.
National Youth Week was celebrated since 1993 for the first time while youth development was under the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture Affairs and continues on with its celebration since it was moved under Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development during the Public Service Commission reform in 2003. The international themes which were published and announced officially from United Nations for International Youth Day were adopted for commemorating the National Youth Week program and similarly for today’s event.
As of today, the world is embarking on a green transition. The shift towards environmentally sustainable and climate friendly world is critical not only for responding to the global climate crisis but also for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The week-long celebration shows the Government of Samoa’s commitment to invest in the development of our youth through activities and programs that will be conducted by the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development and its partners (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries). Today also will be an opportunity for young people to discuss and formulate an issues paper to capture their statements on issues pertaining to youth that should be included in the National Youth Policy. It is an opportunity as well for promoting friendship and enhancing partnership programmes with stakeholders to coordinate sustainable youth development programs.
Associate Minister of Women, Community and Social Development, Afioga Seuamuli Fasi Toma in his Keynote Address today stated that “Today we are called to pass on a legacy for our youth in the future through empowering them to believe in themselves and what they do. We must then provide them with the opportunities needed to develop their potentials and to make informed decisions and choices in life through learning new skills and abilities. We must support their endeavors and guide their direction in righteousness and in faith”.
Despite the growing recognition of the relevance of green skills, the available evidence suggests a shortage of such skills among young people. The skills gap represents an obstacle for young people to participate in a world of work that is shifting towards a green economy. If current trends persist, by 2030 more than 60 percent of young people may lack the skills required to thrive in the green economy.
Promotion of green skills for youth will be addressed through agriculture and marine ecosystem restoration related activities such as tree planting and training, coral replanting and training.
This year’s commemoration will be conducted from Saturday 26th August to Friday 1st September, 2023. As part of the week program:
- Day 1- Saturday 26th August, 2023: Youth Mass Clean Up from Matautu to Mulinuu, followed by the Official Opening Ceremony, Youth Policy Issues discussions, later will be entertainment and booth displays from partners.
- Day 2: Sunday 27th August, 2023: Devotions/Churches in Samoa to engage young people in their Sunday Services.
- Day 3: Monday 28th August, 2023: Tree planting activity and bio gas visits activity as well as trainings for Upolu to be led by Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
- Day 4: Tuesday 29th August, 2023: coral replanting activity and training in Upolu to be conducted and led by Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
- Day 5: Thursday 31st, 2023: Tree planting and Coral replanting training for Savaii led by both MNRE and MAF
- Day 6: Youth parade and Closing ceremony in Savaii on Friday 1st September, 2023
Acknowledging donor partner, government agencies, private sectors, non-government organization, organization for Persons with Disability, churches youth groups, village youth groups and all relevant partners with collaborative efforts to promote activities and to celebrate young people in Samoa.