“Thank you to the Samoa Victim Support Group for the vision to economically empower women as this in turn benefits the whole village.” This was the acknowledgment from High Chief of Letogo, Tumua To’oto’ofoe Salevaogogo during the last day of the 19th training session for the Nofotane project.
Held at Letogo, the 19th session was well attended by 100 women from Vailele, Fagalii and Letogo who were trained on livelihood skills as the final component of the 2-year project SVSG and the UN Women Fund for Gender Equality are working on.
The pre-training survey found that the nofotane women are gifted with different talents. As such, it was just a matter of them utilizing these talents to generate income for the family. While the popular fabric printing, handicraft, flower arrangement and commercial cooking were the skills included in the training, the nofotane women of the Vaimauga East constituency taught the training team a skill or two on weaving hats, school bags, and others using the odd plastics and trash.
When the training team left Letogo, they have recruited an elderly who has mastered the art of weaving of hats using plastic and ribbons. She is now part of the trainers for the remaing villages to be covered by the Project. At the same time, 43 nofotane women have shown an interest in setting up small businesses of their own. This is one of the goals of the economic empowerment of nofotane women as envisaged by the project, and we are glad to see it becoming a reality.
SVSG’s standing with regards to the project and our culture remains, as according to SVSG President, “a nofotane woman will always be a nofotane; the project is not attempting to change this cultural aspect of the FaaSamoa. The project merely aims to improve the economic empowerment of women and to increase their participation in domestic and community matters, as these are some of the most important contributing factors to achieving gender equality.”
Thank you to the village leaders of Letogo, Fagalii and Vailele for advocating for the project and for participating at the livelihood training to show your support.
The Samoa Consulate of Hawaii Mr. Papaliitele Jack Thompson and the founder of the South Seas Christian Ministries took time out from his Group’s busy schedule while in Samoa to visit the children at the Campus of Hope.
The SVSG Patron Hon. Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau and the Chair of the SVSG Board, Mrs. Georgina Lui hosted the visitors and took them for a tour of the Campus.
Papalii was impressed by the facilities and was especially amazed by SVSG’s work for the unfortunate people of Samoa. According to Papaliitele, “I have heard of SVSG and I have wanted to see for myself the work, and I am amazed. Thank you for all your hard work.”
An opportunity for a partnership with the Samoa Consulate of Hawaii & the South Seas Christian Ministries Partnership is in the pipeline to help out with the work of SVSG.
The SVSG Patron, Hon. Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau thanked the Samoa Consulate of Hawaii for making time to visit the children, and wished them well on their journey home.
“Journey together with the God of Miracles” is the theme for the 2018 Thanksgiving Service for the Samoa Victim Support Group’s extended family of supporters, donors and friends.
To be held at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral at Mulivai on Sunday, 28 January 2018 at 3.30pm, the Thanksgiving Service will bring together the SVSG Family to worship, to pray and to thank our Heavenly Father for His guidance throughout 2017.
As we started on our journey in 2018, we once again seek His wisdom and grace, to lead and guide our journey throughout the year.
All the churches, the government ministries and corporations that we work with, the diplomatic corps that have assisted us, the business community that have walked in faith with us, the partners that we have fostered along the way and the individuals that believe in the Cause, are invited to join us in prayer.
Let us uplift our supporting work for the victims of crimes and the vulnerable people in our community to the Lord because a community that prays together stays together.
To God be the glory always, as we journey together in His grace.
“Folau ma le Atua Fai Vavega”
A holiday with some volunteer work for the vulnerable and the abused children at the Campus of Hope, was Coralie Allen and her friend Julia Stewart’s idea of a fruitful time in paradise. And even with only a week’s holiday, the two spared 1 day to fellowship with the children and treated them to new haircuts.
Based in Sydney, providing hair treats for the vulnerable is nothing new to these two Good Samaritans who do the same for the homeless in their community.
Coralie and Julie also presented a donation of toiletries collected from their church pastor and members as well as snacks and break for the children.
“Thank you Coralie and Julie for keeping the volunteer spirit alive, and for treating the children to new haircuts before school starts. Wishing you both a blessed year ahead and as you continued to support the vulnerable members of your community through your talent.” Georgina Lui, Chair of SVSG Board
The youth sub group of Samoa Victim Support Group, the SVSG (Junior) utilized the opportunity presented by the Teine Toa crew of My Story 61, to connect and establish a partnership with the Australian group.
Initially referred from the SVSG (Queensland), the SVSG (Junior) had been liaising with the MS61 Director Lillian Su’a in organizing the Group’s visit and its 2-days program at the Campus of Hope.
The young children and the older girls cared for at the Campus were inspired by the show My Story 61, that they is always hope. That despite the feeling of despair, confusion, hurt and suicidal, the show and inspiring testimonies by some of the Group members encouraged the children of the victory that comes from being hopeful.
The SVSG (Junior) on the other hand were more empowered by the show to rise above the struggles they face and in advocating for everyday issues affecting the young people in Samoa. This is very important as the youths continued their volunteer services to bring about positive changes in the lives of young people in which the SVSG (Junior) and its program target.
Unemployment, child vendor, troubled teen, suicidal sexually abused teens, bullying, the list goes on. These are the real life issues the SVSG (Junior) and the Teine Toa programs are addressing, which make the new partnership approach a way forward for our work with the youth in Samoa.
According to the Chair of the SVSG Board Mrs. Georgina Lui during her presentation to the Leadership of Samoa Program in 2017 on ‘The real life problems facing our youth today’, Mrs. Lui talked about “the amazing youth of today and how we can help appreciate their strength, their potential and their ability to steer our future.” This is youth empowerment and this is how we can address the problems they are facing.
Thank you Lillian Su’a and the Teine Toa Group for an inspiring and empowerment program with us.
As our country comes to term with the stabbing horror of a couple last Friday, Samoa Victim Support Group is appealing to our people that help is just a phone call away. This is through SVSG’s Helpline number 800-7874 which is free and is a 24-hour service.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding family violence cases, it is SVSG’s experience that the effect of anger not only on the perpetrator, the survivor but also on the innocent children, always end up in horror.
As a support service provider, SVSG’s network of supporters is always within reach. We have the SVSG village representatives in villages throughout Samoa and the church leaders whom we have been working with, to provide immediate support. We are therefore calling on our village representatives and our church leaders to be vigilant of families in domestic situations and lend a helping hand wherever possible.
To the husbands and fathers in our families, you do not have to carry the burden on your own, SVSG’s counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Help is therefore just a phone call away through the 800-7874 free Help Line number. “As President of SVSG, please, all that we ask of you is to call us, when in need of help. It is the only way we will be able to assist you and to save that extra life.”Siliniu Lina Chang.
We pray for a speedy recovery for the couple involved, and a safer journey for all our families as we set sail this year
Bernadine’s call for help to Samoa Victim Support Group was not for support.
However, the call was to help with her birthday wish – to give to the less fortunate and sharing this spirit of giving with her own children.
Bernadine’s wish was granted when her family visited the children at the Campus of Hope, donating stationeries and candies.
The young family is from Melbourne and have expressed an interest to join the SVSG (Melbourne) sub group of SVSG. Thank you Micky, Bernadine and the children for the short but heart-warming visit with the children. We are glad we were able to help you with our birthday wish.
It has been a while since two of our children with disabilities have last seen each other.
Their reunion at the Campus during the weekend was therefore a humbling experience.
In their own simple ways, they reached out to each other, remembering as if it was yesterday, how they have been abandoned, saved, nurtured and now grew up to be stronger individuals.
Their smiles say it all.
Following the festive season where many of our families and friends returned home, SVSG opened its donation box located at the Faleolo International Airport.
Thank you so much to all those who placed a dollar or two inside the box, for your donation helps Samoa Victim Support Group provide daily maintenance for the campus.
A total of ST1900.00 was collected from our donation box at year end.
Fa’afetai, Fa’afetai, Fa’afetai
“O au o matua fanau”. This Samoan adage captures the preciousness of children as blessings bestowed upon parents, communities and nations. They are to be cared for and nurtured in an environment where their self-esteem and sense of destiny are secure. In due course they will also be depended on and responsible for the survival and posterity of their families, communities and nation.
As a strong advocate of child rights in Samoa, our child protection efforts have received a brutal battering with the news of the murder of a 15-year old boy last week.
It is incidents as such “which burns the blood and we feel quiet violent ourselves, when we hear the horror that our precious blessings have been subjected to”, as alluded to by the Chair of the SVSG Board, Mrs. Georgina Lui during her keynote address for the SVSG Dinner of Hope late last year. Mrs. Lui went on to say that “In moments of calm, I tell myself, the best way to fight the injustice is to support our President and her team as best I can – because we all know that violence is NOT the answer.”
But it is not only SVSG’s responsibility, or the parent’s responsibility, but a collective responsibility of a nation, as our children are our future.
Caring for a few of the children survivors of violence we have been able to save, at the Campus of Hope makes us appreciate the collective effort of the community in being the voice for the voiceless. But many more of our abused children, including the 15 year old boy being murdered over the week, are without a voice, and in severe situations, fall through the gap in our support system.
As a family, we can overcome evil. We can rise up and take a collective effort to save our children. If you hear or witness violence, please be the voice for the voiceless. Call SVSG’s Helpline on 800-7874. It is free and it is a 24-hour service. We respect your decision if you wish to remain anonymous, as long as that phone call will save a child’s life.
Our condolences to the grieving parents as they come to terms with this great loss. At SVSG, one life lost is one life too many. As such, we are calling for a unity in our stance in protecting our children.
President of SVSG Samoa