Young poets express their feelings in Gamblefree Day poetry competition
Mummy and daddy please choose me instead of gambling.
Some days I go to school looking like a fool wanting some food.
While you both go and feed the machines until they're full.
I'm hungry for food and I’m hungry for your love.
But all I get is none of the above.
These heartfelt words were written by a 15-year-old entrant in the Gamblefree Day poetry competition run by Mapu Maia,
the Problem Gambling Foundation’s Pacific unit, and Radio Samoa.
The competition, which has attracted over 146 entries, was promoted on Radio Samoa’s afternoon children’s programme.
A prize giving ceremony will be held on Gamblefree Day, Thursday 1 September, at the Papatoetoe Town Hall starting at
5.30pm. Hip Hop rapper, Scribe, will be presenting the prizes to the three place getters from each age category.
Scribe is supporting Gamblefree Day and the Choice not Chance campaign. He used to play the pokies nearly every day and
hit rock bottom when his partner left with the children because he couldn’t stop gambling or lying about it.
Pesio Ah-Honi Siitia, Pacific Manager at Mapu Maia, says they received many entries from families.
“This is a real family affair and a great way for young people to express themselves about problem gambling. This is not
an issue that is usually talked about at home,” she says.
Every entrant will receive a gift at the event and will get to see celebrities such as Scribe and former All Black,
The competition was themed 'choose ME not gambling'. 'Faamuamua a'u ae le o taaloga faitupe' and was open for young
people aged between five and 18 years of age.