A local Samoan charity Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG) is one of just 20 organisations from around the world to receive a With and For Girls Award this year.
As part of the award package, SVSG will receive US$50,000 of flexible funding and capacity building support.
The With and For Girls Awards is a global initiative to identify and support strong local organisations working with and for girls.
The charity – based in Apia, Samoa – is recognised for its work with survivors of violence and sexual abuse in Samoa, providing shelters and support for women and girls, in addition to educating community members on violence prevention.
Around 46 per cent of Samoan women who have been in a relationship say they have experienced physical, sexual or emotional abuse by their partner, according to figures published by the United Nations.
In a culture where family reputation is highly valued, women are reluctant to report crimes. As a result, victims of domestic violence find little support within their families, leaving them isolated and trapped in an abusive environment.
SVSG was set up by a young lawyer frustrated at the lack of support for victims of gender-based violence. She brought together former police officers and legal professionals to provide support and counselling for survivors.
SVSG helps refer cases to the police and offers counselling to survivors in a private setting. Members of SVSG will also accompany survivors to court to ensure they have company during this scary and often intimidating process.
The organisation also offers secured temporary accommodation while it works on rehabilitation, recovery and reintegration. An alternative school system helps children who cannot read to transition into formal schooling.
SVSG has reached over 25,000 people and is the only organisation of its kind in Samoa.
Muna Wehbe, CEO of Stars Foundation –
“These 20 outstanding organisations demonstrate the power of grassroots movements and girl leadership to effect change, both in communities and in the world at large. The Collective is proud to be supporting the With and For Girls Award winners with flexible funding, which is still a rare asset for most grassroots organisations. We want to encourage more funders to trust and invest in girls to address the challenges that they face in their everyday lives. By doing so they are changing the future for the millions of girls worldwide who face discrimination simply for identifying as a girl."ENDS
For three years in a roll, the SVSG Sydney Dinner of Hope has been a huge success, bringing together the Samoan and the Australian supporting community at the Liverpool Catholic Club during a sold out event over the weekend.
The annual fundraiser is SVSG Sydney’s contribution towards SVSG’s work for the children survivor of abuse cared for shelter facilities at the Campus of Hope. It is the sub-group’s annual donation to the work of SVSG in Samoa.
SVSG Sydney Director Mrs. Cecilia Theodor and Team, as well as the committed volunteers worked really hard to ensure that once again, they will host a family night to remember, and they did. There was food, drinks, dancing, laughter and fellowship and an auction activity towards the end of the night donated by SVSG Sydney supporters, including an art piece from local artists Alan Lakisoe Art and Paul Suluape.
ST20,000 was raised at the Dinner of Hope and the cheque was presented to SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang, who was in Sydney to receive this kind donation together with Board Member Mulipola Anarosa Molio’o.
In attendance also to support the event was the SVSG Queensland Director Mrs. Eseta Frost and the SVSG Melbourne Director Mr. Toilolo Talosaga Taulapapa, highlighting the SVSG Global Aiga uniting around the common cause; that is of standing against injustice.
High Commissioner of Samoa to Australia, Her Excellency Hinauri Petana also attend in support of the cause, and gave the keynote address for the evening.
Thank you to the community in Sydney for continuing to support this annual fundraising event.
The children cared for at the Campus of Hope, the temporary home for children survivors of violence and sexual abuse operated by Samoa Victim Support Group, were the latest beneficiaries of the Love Squared, the missions arm of the The Katinas, also known as K5.
A donation from The Katinas Love Squared specifically to finance additional transportation for the children, enabled SVSG to purchase a 15-seater van with negotiations for a second vehicle near completion.
True to the Love Squared mission as an outreach to the next generation, brothers James, Jesses, Joe, John and Sam have been supporting SVSG’s work for the abuse children in its shelter facilities.
The children of hope have looked up to the Katinas as their uncles and this is how the brothers have presented themselves to the children. The coming on board of the Katinas Love Squared Mission to support the Campus of Hope through prayer and financial assistance, is a call to the whole of Samoa to work together for the special children cared for in these shelter facilities.
The Katinas Love Squared Mission donated vehicles add to the current 15-seater van also donated by an anonymous donor from Australia in 2014, to assist with the transportation of the children to attend church services on Sundays, and other rehabilitation activities around the community.
SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang acknowledges with gratitude the financial assistance from The Katinas Love Squared mission. “Thank you to the Katinas for being inspirations to the children of hope.”
President of SVSG Samoa