With more than 3,000 people reached by Samoa Victim Support Group in the delivery of gender based violence responsive services for women, children and vulnerable groups in the context of COVID-19, we hereby acknowledged the coming together of a stronger community
Because SVSG’s ability to provide frontline services through the operation of a toll free Help Line at the national level while also connecting on the social media at the international level, is credited to the work in partnership with our supporting partners, families and friends.
We started off this virtual connection for our people in need on 21 March 2020, with only the Help Line telephones, a couple of staff to man the telephones 24/7, and a network of committed SVSG village representatives, who we contacted to attend a case that comes through the Help Line from the rural areas of Upolu, Savaii or Manono-tai.
And here we are at the end of 6 weeks, reaching more than 3,000 people, while our supporters have multiplied overnight.
The EU UN Spotlight Initiative UNDP were the first ones to contact us if we needed any help. UNICEF Pacific later channeled some of its funding support towards the wellbeing of children survivors at the Campus of Hope as well as the women survivors of GBV evacuated during this time.
And from then onwards, we had families dropping off donations of food, clothing and toiletries to assist with relief packages for our families in the community requesting welfare assistance. SSAB joined in the second week with bulk supplies of rice and tinned fish which were rationed to cover a wider range of our community. The Helping Hands were next, contributing miscellaneous supplies and shopping vouchers which enabled the families with young children to buy necessities such as diapers, milk and other needs for the babies. The Alofa Charitable Trust of New Zealand remitted more funds towards the 4th week which enabled SVSG to replenish the supplies for the relief packages. The Mother’s Day weekend was the last time SVSG had been out in the community, as we distributed food items paid in full by a Samoan family in Melbourne Australia
We have been blessed! This is our collective effort Samoa, to be there for one another during these challenging times. Because without your support, we would not be able to provide relief packages for our families severly impacted by the financial strains of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is our prayer that the Lord Almighty will bless you and your families in abundance for your generosity. Together, we have been stronger.” Siliniu Lina Chang, SVSG President