Methodist Youth complete summer project
Excitement, enthusiasm, enjoyment, and educational are the words to describe the glow in the faces of the youth at the Futiga Methodist Church compound on Saturday, August 10, 2013 when they shared with guests and the public some of their newly acquired knowledge and skills on creating various modern day handicrafts and longtime Samoan traditional hands on traits.
Enriching the individuals of tomorrow with occupational skills and talents from its elders and leaders was the goal of the summer program.
This project was funded by the Amerika Samoa Humanities Council in affiliation with the National Endowment for the Humanities.
More than one hundred youth and young adults participated in the two month long program under the directorship of le Tofa, Falefata Moli Lemana, and the scholarly counsel of Rev. Samuelu Areta. Ten skilled men and women worked alongside their leaders to teach language and culture through arts of paper flower making, ula making, elei printing, reupholstering, repairing worn out fine mats, orchestrating and conducting a large choir using original Samoan instruments, reading and singing from music notes, etc.
It was very encouraging to see young men and women learning different skills to not only help in preserving our Samoan traditions but they were also learning skills to help their families with the present economic struggle. A young man who was heightening his creativity in the art of elei told us that he can do elei now which he can sell to help his parents purchase school supplies for him and his siblings. Another young man said now he knows how to repair their family’s old fine mats, and that would be a lot of help for his parents when it comes to faalavelaves.
Traditional and modern art will live on for many more generations in the hearts of these young men and women. We can also help in preserving the gifts and talents that we have by passing them on to the next generation.
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