The self-employed nofotane women under Samoa Victim Support Group’s economic empowerment program, is not only changing mindsets about nofotane women in Samoa, but they are also changing behaviours. How? By being the change makers themselves.
The latest change saw the nofotane women extending the definition of a ‘market’ from a place to facilitate the exchange of goods and services, to a safe space that celebrates change in themselves, which they now referred to as ‘Markets for Change.’
While violence against women in Samoa continues on the rise, hardships to vulnerable families due to COVID-19 is not helping. However, Samoa Victim Support Group remains positive, that there is always hope.
Part of a new research study called E le Sauā le Alofa conducted by SVSG in partnership with the University College of London and the National University of Samoa, looks at the role of Samoan villages in preventing violence against women. SVSG has selected 20 of its village representatives, who are village leaders from 10 villages, to collect data for the study.
Progress has been made as the 20 village leaders have completed interviews about what violence against women means, how community members / leaders are responding to situations of violence, and what the community should be doing to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Most notable is the boldness in the village leaders to speak up about what works and what needs to improve on within their respective villages, to support the prevention of violence.
The next stage will see the 20 village leaders (The EVE Team), conducting interviews with community members (including village and religious leaders, health professionals, families and survivors of violence). These interviews will assist the local researchers to talk about common ideas from different communities in Samoa, about violence against women and how each village is preventing it. Discussing these ideas with community members in a series of village meetings will assist in developing a set of guidelines for the research project and its activities.
The study is now into its second year with funding from the UK’s Research and Innovation agency for the next two years.
For more information about the project, please contact SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang on telephone number 777-6609 / 757-6601 or email email@example.com