Throughout November and December our Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign volunteer team have been going along to many different Taxi stands to talk to the owners and drivers about our SVSG Domestic Violence awareness campaign and Helpline service. Hundreds of Helpline stickers have been handed out and information brochures on the effects of violence on the family have been distributed. Our team have answered questions and many times were commended for their efforts on combating the issues of Domestic Violence in Samoa.
The taxi industry is a male dominated industry here in Samoa and at times they are the first point of contact for women escaping violence in the home so it's seems fit to raise awareness to how SVSG can help and where women can get assistance in time of need.
we are grateful to all the Taxi Drivers we have spoken to over the past few weeks.
October 14, 2015.
Today we had a lively bunch of seniors from the village of Satalo visit the children at the SVSG Campus of Hope. The seniors from Satalo were today's participants in the SVSG Seniors program lead by volunteers Palolo and Ps Lio Paulo from Sydney, Australia. They danced and sung with the children, they shed tears and shared hugs, all in all it was a very pleasant visit for all involved.
Former Manu Samoa player Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu has placed his support behind the campaign
APIA, SAMOA: WEDNESDAY 25 NOVEMBER 2015: ‘A Warrior’s Promise’ is the latest initiative by Samoa Victim Support to drive the ‘Say NO to Violence’ message through public transport and publicly displayed posters. It is a promise to the mothers and children who have endured violence in the homes. It is a promise to be their voice.
Fronted by sportsmen, male role models and men graduate of the SVSG Men’s Advocacy Group, the campaign is in its fourth week of implementation and gearing up for the 16 Days of Activism period from 25 November to 10 December 2015. Former Manu Samoa player Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu is one of the proud warriors in this campaign who together with other sportsmen and family leaders, are stepping up to say ENOUGH to the violence invading the security of our families.
The campaign has reached close to 35,000 people from those commuting on buses and taxis, on the ferries to and from Savaii, street vendors, pedestrians, shoppers and those on social media. The business community and some anonymous donors have partnered with SVSG in getting the message out there since the campaign was launched.
Former Manu Samoa Rugby stars Mahonri Schwalger, George Stowers and Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu (above) were among dozens of male volunteers that came forward to support a male-led Samoa Victim Support Group Domestic Violence campaign this weekend – the campaign was part of Samoa’s ’16 days of activism program.’
Senior SVSG Volunteer Patty Perez said the men have been at different locations in Apia holding up signs and handing out information brochures throughout the day. The male volunteers were aged 14 to mid-60s and all from different villages in Samoa. The aim of the project named ‘A Warrior’s Promise’ is to raise awareness of the affects of violence on family and the community.
“By having our men in town supporting the cause, we are hoping that the messages and helpline numbers will be remembered for a time when somebody may need it themselves or for others they know,” she says.
SVSG currently run a program where the courts refer men to the SVSG programs despite that there is no government funding for these programs or SVSG. Perez says that the courts are referring the men to the programs in large numbers.
“The programs are run by church pastors and volunteers, all trained and experienced. They are run in the old SVSG office building which is run down and in need of repair. There are no funds for tea, coffee or even toilet paper – all things that would make the groups more comfortable and ‘inviting’ for facilitators and group participants.”
SVSG Helpline: 800 7874
Our friends from QLD, Australia Deirdre Hanna and Elisa Actor-Singer James have spent the last week with our children at the SVSG Campus of Hope. Both ladies are here to volunteer their time to provide a esteem and resilience program to children under the care of SVSG.
With professionalism and experience both women are here to help the girls find their voices and unblock their throat energy, ELISA has been rehearsing them for a performance on Christmas Eve of 'Shine A Light At Christmas' and a harmony version of 'Silent Night' as well as 'Together we can change the world.' Some of the girls are so silenced by the trauma and ashamed of their bodies, that they don't know how to speak out. A lot of games and vocal expression activities, which is Elisa's specialty and heart's work, are designed to help them with growing into their own bodies, minds and spirits with confidence.
Each day starts with the Kata drawn from 'The Life We Are Given' by George Leonard and Michael Murphy, to exercise every joint in the girls' bodies and then some games for team work and warm ups for voices. The circus ribbons for dance all lovingly made by Elisa's mum have come off the sticks and are now in the children's hair. The sticks are used as drum sticks.
Together they've done Mountain Meditation for strength and resilience to withstand further life changes, Flower Visualisation for insight and awareness of their own unique qualities, a Memory Book for all their changes this year, and varied drama games to help them integrate their experiences. The girls have formed teams as it's the only way for the 2 women to handle 30 children, as the work is deep. The teams are Rainbow, Superhero, Butterfly Wings, Katy Perry, Titans, Lions and their emerging qualities are courage, kindness, compassion, love, confidence, reliability, all projected onto others but through the writing, drawing and improvisation games are being introjected and are fun at the same time.
We here at SVSG are so fortunate to have the love and support that we do from both Deirdre and ELISA and we are so appreciative to the work they do with our children.
Thank you both
SVSG is very grateful to Gabby and team from the Trinity Lutheran College Rowing Ashmore, Gold Coast, Australia, for their wonderful gesture in fundraising for our Campus of Hope.
From the goodness of their hearts they came together to do a garage sale mainly for the purpose of fundraising for their friends in the Campus of Hope. Through this fundraising, they raised $1460.00 Samoan tala, and is now handed over by Deidre, a dear friend of SVSG visiting from the Gold Coast.
Thank you so much to Gabby and team, this surely is special, for you have shown to all of us here, that no matter our strengths, our language, our colour, our beliefs, we are all one family and humbly we thank each and everyone of you for thinking of us.
We wish you all a Merry Xmas and a prosperous New Year.
From the Children in the Campus of Hope
President of SVSG Samoa