A Samoan fale with half of it in good condition accommodates a father and his 4 children. The family relies on the father’s plantation for a living. They have never had access to their own tap water but fetched water instead from a relative next door. Life has been a struggle for the Aleki household at Faleula.
However, Tulaga Aleki now has one less worry, with the installation of a 1,000 litre water tank under the SVSG Juniors Clean Water Project. With funding support from the Chan Mow Company Limited, the SVSG Juniors was able to purchase and install a water tank for the Aleki household.
“At last, there will be no more water worries for me and my children,” says an emotional Tulaga Aleki.
Tulaga shared on how a lot of things have changed at their humble household since the installation of the water tank. The children can now attend school instead of collecting water all day, or being sick from waterborne illnesses. As for Tulaga, he now has more time to care for his family and expand his plantation to sustainable levels without the water worries.
It is amazing how things other people take for granted like accessing clean water, are appreciated with humility by others.
For the SVSG Juniors, the youth groups is just glad that it was able to source out funding support from the business community, in this case, Chan Mow Company Limited, which enabled the underpriviledged families like Tulaga Aleki, to access clean water as they rightly deserve.
“Thank you so much Komisi and the Chan Mow family for supporting our Clean Water Project for our community in need.” Carmenita Solaese, SVSG Junior President
The youngest member of the Leilua family at Falealili, 5 year old Tavita Leilua will no longer struggle to carry buckets of water from the Puna o Talapool to assist with his family’s daily needs, thanks to the water tank donated by the Ponifasio Lawyers, Aute Gas and Federal Pacific Finance.
When the SVSG youth members visited the Leilua family to assess the needs of the family following their request with SVSG for welfare assistance, Fotuaivili Leilua, the head of the 8-member household pointed out barrels of water in which his family relies upon for this necessity.
The family is connected to the main water pipes that service the whole village. However, for a family that lives on a $40 - $60 budget a week from its plantation, it is always a struggle to stretch this income to cover the children’s education, food, electricity and the water bills. As such, their water is usually disconnected and hence their reliance on water from the Puna o Tala pool, about 1km from their home.
Since November 2018, the SVSG Juniors have been fundraising and soliciting support from its local and international supporters to ensure that underprivileged families like Fotuaivili Leilua have access to clean water every day.
Thanks to the combined donations from Tuala & Sarona Ponifasio of the Ponifasio Lawyers, Afamasaga Opeta Siilata of the Federal Pacific Finance and Toleafoa Elon Betham of the Le Aute Gas, the Leilua household now has a stable water supply with the installation of their 1,000 litre water tank next to its house.
According to Ms. Carmenita Solaese, the SVSG Junior President, “the lack of access to clean water is a struggle faced by many of our families that sought welfare assistance with SVSG, hence the decision by the SVSG youth group to reach out and do something about it. Globally, it is the SVSG Juniors contribution to the achievement of one of the SDG Goals for Clean Water & Sanitation.”
The SVSG Juniors continued with its Clean Water Project to assist the underprivileged members of our community.
The two young men, Franziska Sione and Mane Su’a, who are fronting the ‘Breaking the Cycle: Men & Boys Engage to End Violence Against Women’ for Samoa Victim Support Group are heading off to Netherlands this weekend.
The men of change will meet up with partners from 4 other international organisations from Spain, India, Sri Lanka and Madagascar for a Study Tour hosted by the Emancipator, a Dutch organization in the Netherlands for men and gender justice, and the 5thmember of the ‘Breaking the Cycle’ Partnership. SVSG makes up the 6thmember of this men of change partnership.
The social norms on masculinity, wherein characteristics such as being tough, aggressive, dominant and strong are accepted and promoted; is a global problem and is not confined to a community.
However, according to Jens Van Tricht, the founder of the Emancipator and the host of the Study Tour in Netherlands, “The impact that we have as six organisations – with the limited funding and resources we have – is small while facing this huge challenge. But we believe that both men and women will benefit from gender justice."
As for Franziska and Mane, the practicality of the best practices adopted by each of the organsations in this international partnership is overwhelming. From grassroot advocacy to changing masculinity views to recruiting men of change, these best practices are effective if blended in well within the local context.
For SVSG, its involvement with the Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Men and Boys Engage to EVAW and to Promote Gender Equality Projecthas seen SVSG’s advocacy program for the court referred offenders of violence, working on changing mindsets in men about masculinity and getting them to become part of the solution.
Franziska and Mane will participate in the Netherlands Study Tour from 6 – 10 May 2019.