I was intriqued, truly.
Their website boasts such wonderful 'deeds' and a list of 'initiatives' that will benefit Samoans...I was about to sing "halleluia praise be" from the mountain tops. But.
Ahem - It's me, remember?
I need a Vailima and some sashimi on the side to get me singing.
So who are these Oh-so-gracious Samaria agaleleis?
Well, I have to go with the information from their website:
They are run by a "Samoan charitable trust...established to teach marketing and to encourage in-bound Samoan tourism, post-Tsunami"
A core function of SWAP activities is to develop, build and maintain an inbound tourism portal website called The Samoa Story.(ae click aku i le link e ep faasoloakor)
Now, before you yawn, let me say this,
I smell a isumu pe.
I am sure they are genuine, but I have the same concerns as with many other Govenment partnerships - many that have got belly up because the HRPP Government didn't do their homework and these so called partners didn't reveal their TRUE intentions.
Are they a business venture?
Or a charitable organisation?
And if they are there to help promote Samoa online, then what the hell is Samoa Tourism doing? Also, I see on their website that, with the support of the Government and Samoa Land Corp, they have gotten themselves 5 acres of land at Tagaigata.
Again, I am just voicing my personal views and my inner fears because this feels like many other deals in the past that have ended badly (cue to enter: the elusive Lubinsky, Taumesina, Jesse James and thieves from the Wild Wild West(Sasina), Jackie Chen and the golden nonu, Tiavea Uta, etc etc.
I am also nervous because their presence feels as if they are trying to 'fit the bill' in terms of eligbility for donor funding. And you and I know there are more than enough consultants and analysts with a fist in the pie before the $5 cent even drops at Faleolo Airport.
Ironically, the more I read, the more I realise e fai lava siga kopi o si au vaega:
eg: Habitat for Humanity model of volunteerism: same same.
VSA (Volunteer Service Abroad): same strategy, using people's expertise to help those in need, in this case, they supposedly have website building/portal skills.
NewsFlash guys: I CAN BUILD A WEBSITE. AND ALL MY COUSINS IN SAVAII CAN MANAGE A SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN (like duuur! who doesn't know how to facebook? choohoo)
But hey, you never know, they might sincerely mean well, they might genuinely be a charitable organisation that want the best for Samoa...