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Asau’s prayers answered

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THANK YOU FROM ASAU: Asau College's Masoe Molesi, Lopao'o Mua and Etepo Poloma.More than five Mhundreds students of Asau College at Savai’i will no longer have to miss school or brave the elements on the road to get an education.

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That’s because the remote school on the big island is now the proud owner of a Chinese bus gifted to them by the government yesterday.

Asau is one of thirteen recipients of buses from the government, presented to them during a special ceremony at Sogi. The buses were gifted to the government to allow Samoa to host the U.N Small Island Developing States conference last year.

In handing over the buses, Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi urged the recipients to look after them and treat them like it’s their own.

The message was not lost on Etepo Poloma, from Asau, who promised that the village would do everything possible to look after the gift.

With a smile on his face, Etepo said the bus is an investment from the government for the future of Asau.

“We only have one College in our constituency where all the children attend,” said Etepo. “Some walk the long distance to get to school while others catch the public bus.”

While the public transportation has somewhat been helpful, Etepo said there are many challenges.

Representatives of the Faleasiu Worship Center church.“The problem faced by the students is that if you catch the public bus, you’ll be late for school,” he said.

“If you walk, the kids will have to wake up very early in the morning to make the trip to make sure they make it on time. It’s unsafe.”

Etepo said the bus is the answer to their prayers. He thanked the government for responding to their request positively and helping relieve the pressure off the shoulders of many parents.

Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi urged the new owners to take care of their buses.The Faleasiu Worship Center Church was also given one of the buses.

Palagi Hanna Taulealo, who accepted the bus on behalf of the church, said they had requested the government for a bus to transport more than 400 church members.

Volunteers of Red Cross, Leaso Gale Usoali’i, Victor Ulberg and Isara Isara.She said the church is attended by villagers from Tufulele, Utuali’i, Sapulu and Fasito’o.

“We have a dyna that transports the church members,” she explained.

“But the bus would be an ideal way of picking up the members so that even if it rains or it’s too hot we can still attend church.”

During his keynote address,Prime Minister Tuilaepa said the government initially had plans to sell the buses following the S.I.D.S conference.

The money from the sale would have been used for other developments.

“However after the meeting (cabinet) we decided it would be given out to organisations especially to schools, churches and those doing charity work.”

Samoa Primary was more than happy to take the key for their new bus.Tuilaepa added that that government could never please everyone. He said there would always be criticisms from people who have not received buses.

He also assured that the buses are all in good condition.

If for some reason it breaks down tomorrow, Tuilaepa said that would be the fault of the negligent owner.

Before the buses could be driven away from Sogi yesterday, the owners were given a training of how to operate and look after them.

Lastly, Tuilaepa thanked the Ambassador of China, Li Yuanduan for making the assistance possible during S.I.D.S.

The other recipients of the buses are the Red Cross Society, Malua Theological College, Methodist Church of Samoa, Samoa Primary School, Faleasiu Worship Center, Don Bosco, Falealili School Committee, Ali’i ma Faipule of Tiavea, Samoa Prison and Correctional Services, S.A.S.N.O.C and the National Health Services.

 

 

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