Their smile says it all, as Pamela Andrewartha and Raelene Granthon received their Certificate of Recognition for being ‘Outstanding Volunteers’ with Samoa Victim Support Group. And these two childhood friends from Canberra and South Australia have a reason to be all smiles, as they are the first ever volunteers with SVSG to have received such honorary recognition, and well deserved one at that.
Proud in their flora locally made dresses, Pamela and Raelene shared with SVSG on why they kept coming back to help out at the Campus of Hope; Pamela being her third time and Raelene’s second time. Says Pamela, “I remembered when I first came in 2015, and how I was put on the spot from the start, that this is Samoa, not Australia. I did not realize the relevance of that reminder until I worked at the nursery shelter, and seeing the marvelous job these people were doing with the meager resources they have. Simply amazing!”
After 6 weeks of volunteering at the Campus, with all their expenses self-funded, our honorary volunteers are not calling it quits yet. Despite their age and the difficulty of travelling, they are willing to continue with their support, if not here in Samoa, then in Australia through hosting members of SVSG when they visit.
This is the extent of the growth of the SVSG Family, as Pamela and Raelene have become the latest addition. Pamela has sealed her membership further with a tattoo.
SVSG President acknowledges on behalf of the Patron, the hearts of these ladies to volunteer for SVSG. “As the first ever volunteers to be recognized for ‘Outstanding Volunteer’ work, you should be proud of yourselves, just like how we are proud of you both.” Siliniu Lina Chang.
Pamela and Raelene will return home to Australia on Saturday, but they will always be remembered as the ladies with the hearts.
Samoa Victim Support Group is celebrating International Women’s Day 2017 by honoring the ‘Empowered Women’ the Champions of Family Violence in Samoa.
As part of a 2-year project with UN Women Fund for Gender Equality (FGE), SVSG through its village representatives is working with village and church leaders, to gauge support for the economic empowerment of women, with specific focus on Nofotane Women.
The Project targets 5,000 unemployed women to be trained on income generating skills with the aim to ensure sustainable self-employment for 500 of these women.
Through previous projects, SVSG had empowered women survivors of violence with disabilities in Upolu and Savaii, with livelihood skills now enabling them to be self-sufficient, through income earned from their small business activities.
As the world celebrates International Women’s Day 2017, SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang congratulates all the women of Samoa, especially women survivors of violence and women at risk, who have been economically empowered through its program.
“Thank you to UN Women FGE for financially supporting SVSG’s work to empower the women of Samoa through skills development. They are the Champions among us, and are congratulated for their bravery.” Siliniu Lina Chang
Happy International Women’s Day to the Empowered Women of Samoa.
Dear Members, Friends and Supporters
A new partner has joined Samoa Victim Support Group in its work with the community. The Bahai Church with its members visited the SVSG Campus of Hope with food supplies for the children as well as monetary contribution for the upkeep of the children within the Campus, marking the beginning of partnership with SVSG/
The Board of SVSG expresses its gratitude to members of the Bahai Church in Samoa for their thoughtful visit of the children and their kind donations with the work of SVSG.
We thank you again for been part of our community in looking after our very special children.
As one of our projects for the girls as per the ‘With and for Girls Award’ is to improve our engagement with young ladies of our community through our newsletter, facebook and other forms of social media, our Office has decided to consult you on what you would like to see improved on our current forms of communications, and any other suggestions in the utilising of other methods of social media to engage your interest on our work and issues we continue to face.
We welcome your input either through direct discussions using the messenger on our facebook or e-mail us at email@example.com.
From your office staff in Samoa
Families and friends of close to 40 graduates of the Tina Faufautua Advocacy Program crowded the Travellers Point to congratulate their grandmothers, mothers and aunties, who have successfully completed Court ordered counseling programs with Samoa Victim Support Group.
In attendance also were Hon. Laaulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao, Justice Vui Clarence Nelson, Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren, Judge Talasa Atoa-Saaga and the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Justice, Papalii John Taimalelagi Afele, who was the guest speaker for the night.
Reverend Elder Taipisia Leilua of the Malua Theological College officiated the opening prayer, referring to the Book of Esther and how this Jewish woman risked own life to save the lives of her people. Such is the support work carried out by SVSG through counseling programs for the women offenders of violence referred from the Courts and have graduated on the night.
The CEO of the Ministry of Justice acknowledged the assistance from SVSG in supporting the work of the Family Court, through working with the women offenders of violence.
Speaking on behalf of SVSG, Hon. Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau, SVSG Patron paid tribute to the recognition by the Courts of SVSG’s counseling programs. The attendance by the members of the Judiciary on the night attest to the valued partnership established with the Ministry in addressing family violence.
For the graduating mothers, the champions of violence in the homes, they received certificates, special awards and gifts courtesy of our generous sponsors namely Aumua and Fiti Leung Wai of the Samoa Stationery & Books, donating gift bags, school bags and accessories; Molioo Pio and Mulipola Anarosa Molioo of the Western Union Money Transfer donating pens and key rings; Magele Frankie Ah Kau and staff of the Pacific Ezy Money Transfer donating cooler bags, caps and key rings and Bluesky Samoa donating rugby balls and bags. For the venue, the Board acknowledges the sponsorship by Tuala & Sarona Ponifasio of the Travellers Point, which sets a family atmosphere for the occasion.
Faafetai, Faafetai, Faafetai tele lava
On 25 February 2017, President Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling and his congregation of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints kindly gave up some of their time during the weekend to attend to the Campus of Hope.
They attended to cleaning the outdoor area of the compound as well as gifted various items including food for the children.
We thank President Pulotu and his congregation for this wonderful donation in not only your time but also the items collected from various members of your congregation.
SVSG's longstanding partnership with the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints continues in strength and the Board continues to be grateful to the Church for their commitment to this partnership.
“There are critics and there are supporters, rest assured that God sees everything and all things that you do in your work to support our people in need. Piula has been a long-time supporter of your work, through prayers, this time, we want to be more involved.”
These words encouraged the SVSG President and staff during the opening remarks by Reverend Dr. Mosese Ma’ilo, Principal of the Piula Theological College, when the children cared for at the Campus of Hope visited Piula during the week.
The visit marked the beginning of a partnership between Samoa Victim Support Group and the Piula Theological College.
It is a partnership that has extended the support network SVSG continues to foster with the church community, as different denominations come forward to partner and to lend a hand.
The children spend time at the pool, the reverends provided the security around the area while their wives catered for lunch. The pool was closed off to the public while the children were in the area. It was one big family taking time out from their normal activities to enjoy the goodness of the Lord in our lives, despite the evil and his ways. Monetary donation of $1,000, food and clothes supplies were presented to the children from the College.
In addition to the day out, the partnership will see the reverends and their wives becoming active volunteers at Campus, helping out at the school, with the livelihood trainings and caring for the babies.
SVSG President was grateful of the support from the Piula Theological College, in particular, the belief from those in leadership roles in the College, Reverend. Dr. Mosese Ma’ilo and the Team. “Thank you for your sincerity as shown by the durable partnership now established with the College.”
Close to 50 reformed women referred from the Courts for counseling sessions under SVSG’s Advocacy Programs in 2016, will be graduating in a ceremony to be held at the Travellers Point on Thursday, 23 February 2017.
These are women who have committed violence against a family member or a member of the community, and have been given the opportunity to change for the better, through court ordered counseling programs with SVSG.
Anger and stress management, family relationships, goal setting and spiritual guidance form part of the counseling rehabilitation program. From 4 weeks to 3 months depending on the duration of the program as referred from the Courts, these mothers remain committed to change not only for themselves, but most importantly, for their families. And SVSG is mindful of the difficulty in achieving behavioral change.
The graduation will see our proud mothers, the Champions of domestic violence in the homes, celebrating their achievements. There has been noted improvement in relations with their husbands, children, parents, siblings and their neighbors; they have learned self-control when in conflicting situations; most importantly, they have been agents of change, advocating for violence free families in their women’s committee, village and church communities.
SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang acknowledged the commitment from the volunteer facilitators from different church denominations, who been working with SVSG in providing counseling for these mothers. “As a community, we have nurtured the goodness in these mothers, now becoming Champions of violence in the homes.” Siliniu Lina Chang
The girls who were kindly hosted by Pastor Jeremy & Shelley Faumuina and their church in Christchurch for an overseas experience, have now safely returned.
They have expressed their great appreciation to Pastor Jeremy & Shelley and the new friends they made while in Christchurch. One of the girls stated that "she will be praying from now on so that she can go back." The other said that she was very grateful for the opportunity to improve her language skills in English as well as learning to be courteous to others.
The girls both felt that their communication skills have improved as well as speaking in English, and they are more confident to communicate to others when they need something. They also like the opportunity to continue to correspond with their new friends in Christchurch, as letters have already been handed into the office to be posted to Pastor Jeremy & Shelley and their new friends.
Thank you Pastor Jeremy & Shelley and the SVSG (Christchurch) supporters, for a successful Homestay Programme.
The Children at the Campus were treated by Tupai Bruno and the team at the Magic Circus of Samoa, to a magic show specially for them. The children loved it and the Board expresses their gratitude to Tupai Bruno and the Team for putting a smile on these children.
We wish you success in your show and thank you once again.
During the school break, there was repair work done to the House of Hope, the first shelter built on the Campus of Hope. Repairs included replacing the floor in the main areas of the house, painting as well as repairs to the roof.
We thank you to all those who were kind enough to help out with this work and ensuring that the repairs are completed before school starts for the children, giving them enough time to move back into their home.
We also give special thanks to our Australian friend from the Gold Coast who continually helps SVSG and also helped with this project.
The total cost to the repairs amounted to ST21,102.00