A 73-year-old New Zealand- based Samoan, Fred Uhrle, has come up with some ideas to solve the problems of youth gangs in Samoa.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Mr. Uhrle whho is in the country for family stuff, is also a former member of the Lions Club New Zealand.
“We helped a lot of kids in New Zealand,” he said.
“But my idea in utilizing these kids that are in gangs instead of getting them into trouble I say put them together if we can get the government or anyone to give us a bit of land somewhere we can build a skate park or some sort of entertainment park for these kids.
“So they can help rebuild the place with the help of the Lions Club of Samoa, I haven’t been to see them because I don’t know where they are and I’m stuck here with no transport as well.
“So if somebody somewhere along the line would give us some land so the kids can go and rebuild it.”
He went on to say that the idea will not be an easy one as there will be knockers who will always have negative comments to say.
“I know for sure we would get the knockers that would say that this will give in some more spot for these kids to do their drugs and all sorts,” said Mr. Uhrle.
“Now we’ve always got knockers, and I have been in the lions club for thirty four years and we’ve always got knockers that will say we can’t do this we can’t do that, but hey kids are kids and this is the time they need us the most.
“They need the older people to lead them to the right direction.”
He also said that his idea will take some time to actually happen however if it does he will make sure that it will benefit the young ones.
“These sorts of things takes time and I also know that by the time they (kids) made their minds up I may not be here but if and when I know that there is something is happening then I will keep in touch,” he said.
“If I know that there is something happening then I can get in contacts with some old friends of mine from my Lions Club to come here and help out these kids.”
Asked what his thoughts were of why these kids do what they do, Mr. Uhrle said because they are bored.
“They’ve got nothing better to do and that’s all it is,” he said.
“Like I said before with kids if we lead them in the right direction they will love you for it, because you have actually taken them by the hand and told them that this is what they need to do and this is what they don’t need to do.
“And if they don’t, then you don’t smack them around the ear and kick them in the behind we pull them to the side and tell them, “Look this is where you went wrong, you went off the track, now toe the line or you’re going to end up somewhere else.
“These kids need a lot of assistance to get them on the right track and they need our help to do that.
“So instead of punishing them and smacking them we should be looking at ways to keep them occupied and keep them busy and help them start afresh in life.”