Despite the measles epidemic claiming the lives of three children from the same family at Laulii, the strength of a family, of a community and of a nation, standing together, is shining hope to a country in a state of emergency.
This was the observation from the team of volunteers who joined the Samoa Victim Support Group when the Group took its Measles Outreach program to the village communities over the weekend.
The SVSG Measles Prevention and Helping Hand Outreach is SVSG’s way of reaching out and reassuring families that despite the severity of the deadly measles epidemic, we are stronger together as a family.
SVSG’s Outreach covered ten of the Group’s families at Laulii, including the most devastated Tuivale family who had lost three children so far to the deadly virus. In working together with SVSG village representatives at Laulii, SVSG was able to reach the most vulnerable families in need of support during these trying times; some of which have very limited access to clean drinking water, others saw three extended households of 8 adults and 15 children sharing the same bathroom while other families with younger couples in their early 20s have children running with barely any clothes.
It breaks the heart to see the hardships faced by our underprivileged families in this area; on top of dealing with the loss of lives from the measles epidemic. However, through family counseling, awareness raising on maintaining basic hygiene, healthy eating and the donation of food, SVSG was able to see the smile on the children’s faces and hope in the eyes of their parents.
With financial support received so far from SVSG Melbourne $5,000, Fexco Samoa $3,000 and boxes of girls clothes from Dress a Girls Around the World of New Zealand, we were able to help ten families of 21 adults and 37 children (5 months – 18 years old) of Laulii; with more families to be covered during the 3-weeks Outreach.
SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang acknowledged the commitment from our village representatives at Laulii for carrying the SVSG motto with pride that we support, we help, and we care for each other as Family.