The older girls, majority of whom are survivors of rape, and cared for at the Campus of Hope shelter facility operated by Samoa Victim Support Group, kicked start 2017 with a retreat activity.
On the theme ‘Sisters of Hope – the Rising Stars’, the 3 days retreat from 2 – 4 February 2017 saw the successfully reintegrated survivors, and the survivors still in residence at the Campus of Hope, coming together as they believed that ‘sharing is caring’. The objective of the retreat was to improve self-esteem through sharing and rising up like stars.
And the girl survivors now returned back into the community attested to the importance of regaining self-esteem, confidence and rising up from their bad experiences. Like stars, they have risen up themselves; some have secured full time jobs, other are pursuing further studies while others are settling down and have started families of their own.
This is older sisters sharing with their sisters still in residence at the Campus about the importance of having hope; of regaining lost self-esteem; of learning to trust their abilities to rise up and become the stars that they are.
SVSG member and pastor’s wife, Valasi Patea of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa Luatuanuu, performed the opening prayer and a guided the girls retreat by a verse from Psalm 121 “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.”
Guest speakers included Osana Seiuli and her Team from the National Health Nutrition Division, reminding the girls about the importance of a healthy body and mind in their rehabilitation and their rise up from the hardships they faced. Taumuafa Toma Vavae and Perive Faamausili Saena were part of the guest speakers, sharing on the love of God and how His grace, will heal them to full recovery.
SVSG President and the Campus staff were with the girls during the 3-days retreat; sharing the pain, the tears and finding reward in knowing that the older girls now with the community, have returned to share on their journey with their sisters still in residence. As Sisters of Hope, our Girls are the Rising Stars.
President of SVSG Samoa