This is a programme initiated by Pastor Jeremy & Shelley Faumuina of the SVSG (Christchurch) with the assistance of the Christchurch Network of Churches. The programme involves a group of girls from the shelters travelling to New Zealand to experience a homestay arrangement with members of the Christchurch Network of Churches. They stay for 3 months with these church members undergoing rehabilitation to ready themselves to return back into society as confident and matured girls. The girls look forward to been picked for this programme and enjoyed themselves during their placements. All expenses for this programme including airfares are covered by Pastor Jeremy & Shelley with the assistance of the church community in Christchurch.
The Board of SVSG expresses their gratitude to Pastor Jeremy & Shelley Faumuina and the Christchurch Network of Churches for their continued support and commitment to SVSG.
Malo lava Lina and the Board,
We are grateful for another successful Homestay. It’s been a great time and huge adventure of learning, growing, healing and dreaming for our girls and for us seeing joy and hope being restored.
In 2 weeks, they will return to the shelter where they are excited to share their experiences and pass on to their friends all they have learnt.
It’s been a challenging but rewarding 3 months, but we are confidence they will return with more confidence and maturity after experiencing a bigger world that is full of endless possibilities. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for them and we are grateful again to Lina and the Board for entrusting them to our care.
We have thoroughly enjoyed having them with us and we are even more convinced at the importance of the Homestay Program and the benefits it brings to the girls.
The girls are sad to leave Christchurch but excited to see you all and their friends at the shelters.
Shelley will travel with them back to Samoa on the 8th February.
Jeremy and Shelley
While we start on our journey for 2017, SVSG would like to acknowledge the coming together of some of our families from here and abroad, to visit, to donate and to volunteer at the Campus of Hope during the Christmas Holidays.
We have the Blackburns, who were referred from our SVSG Sydney Team late October 2016 with a Family Bio. “Hi, we’re the Blackburns and we are proud to be associated with SVSG and so looking forward to providing whatever contribution that we can, and comitted to providing support for the long term. We learnt of the great work that SVSG does through our friends the Liney family, whom we have known for over 10 years.” Ian Liney is the Principal of the Wyong Christian Community School in Sydney who had coordinated annual visits and donation from the School for the Campus over the years.
Then we have Ernest and Hannalei Betham and children presenting donations from the Lions Club of Apia. As a family, they visited the Campus before Christmas, bearing bulk supplies of the necessities such as rice, sugar, flour, milk and other miscellaneous items to assist with the daily caring for the children.
“Thank you so much Oloipola Terrence Betham and the Lions Club of Apia for always being on board to support the children. Thank you also to Ernest and Hannalei for making it part of a family activity to visit the children before Christmas.” Siliniu Lina Chang, SVSG President
This is what genuine and durable partnership is all about. With families, it comes naturally; that supporting the children at the Campus is just like helping their own children, even if it’s just fixing their broken pipes, holding the babies, donating supplies or just being there. It’s all about families.
The Tanoa Tusitala Hotel once again coordinated a fun day for the children cared for at the Campus of Hope. As part of their annual Christmas activity, the Hotel staff and their children came together to host the children of hope for a day of fun during the weekend.
It started with fun games, a splash in the pool which was the most exciting activity, followed by lunch and snacks.
They were treated as guests and they felt special. It was just amazing watching them laughed and splashed around in the pool. And Tanoa Tusitala Hotel staff were all smiled as they once again hosted an enjoyable event for the children.
Treating the children for Christmas is an annual event by Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, staff and their families, which forms part of the community support SVSG has been blessed with. This is what genuine and durable partnerships is all about.
SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang acknowledges the ongoing support from Tanoa Tusitala Hotel and staff through this partnership. Thank you so much Lafo Fuimaono Terama and staff for continuing with the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel’s tradition of supporting the community through the work of SVSG. “We draw strength from knowing that there are people out there, other than ourselves who genuinely care for the children of hope.”
Pacific Ezy Money, as their annual giving back to the community donates to five different non-government organisation including Samoa Victim Support Group. Each organisation received $1,000 each. Samoa Branch Manager, Magele Dan Ah Kau presented the donation to SVSG Board Member, Mulipola Anarosa Molioo. Pacific Ezy Money has been a regular and loyal supporter of SVSG. The Board expresses its appreciation and gratitude their kindness.
Samoa Victim Support Group was always fortunate to have a goodwill partnership with Yazaki. Yazaki had always assisted with the work of SVSG in providing necessities for the children when needed or having their management assist in co-ordinating fundraising activities for SVSG. Today Yazaki reaffirmed its longstanding partnership with SVSG by providing food supplies and toys for the children. Funefeau Oliva Vaai who is the liaison person for SVSG within Yazaki, with the Yazaki Vice President and the Yazaki management team presented gifts for the children in the form of food supplies and toys today to reaffirm its partnership with SVSG. The Board of SVSG expresses its appreciation and gratitude to Yazaki for their kindness and their longstanding support for SVSG.
“God has been so good to me.”
These are the words from the young Feagaiga Stowers who will represent Samoa in the Oceania Training Camp that will be held in New Caledonia this week.
She told the Samoa Observer that God works in mysterious ways and despite her passed God has raised her up again.
“This sport gave me a second chance in life and for that I am so grateful to the man who gave me hope and made me the person I am today Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork,” she said.
“Before I was just this girl at the S.V.S.G searching of where to start from again but our coach gave me hope.
“I am now known to the world and I am now going to places and travelling the world, it’s something that I thought would never happen to me.”
Having to say that the young lifter also acknowledge the President of the S.S.V.G Siliniu Lina Chang.
“All of this would not have come real for me if it wasn’t for the love and kind of Mama Lina,” she said.
“I know if I wasn’t living at the campus of hope I wouldn’t be able to make it to the sport, so these two people have moulded me and pushed me to become the person I am today.
“This week I will be training with some of the junior elites from different countries and it’s an honour.
“I’ll get to meet a lot of people and I will train as hard as I can and learn from others.”
President of Weightlifting Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork said that the training camp is two weeks.
“Feagaiga will be there from now until the 18th of this month.
“She has been selected as one of the elite within the Oceania juniors to participate in this training camp.
“This is all for the development of weightlifting and also her as a young lifter.
“Mary Opeloge will be accompanying Feagaiga Stowers.
“She was also invited by the Oceania Weightlifting Federation as a special guest for the Women’s training Camp.
“All airfares and accommodation are fully funded by the Oceania Weightlifting Federation.
“The training camp and competition will be run under the well known Coach Paul Coffa.”
The Senior Sisters from the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints Pesega Mission hosted the children cared for at the Campus of Hope for a Christmas treat, culminating a whole year of volunteering teaching of the children on Campus.
This is one aspect of the Church’s assistance for the work of SVSG where not only the daily supplies of necessities are donated, but also, volunteer service is provided based on the identified need for support. There have been volunteers at the school and also those volunteering as facilitators for SVSG’s advocacy program for offenders of violence referred from the Courts.
For 2016, the Sisters from the LDS Pesega Mission have been volunteer teachers, assisting the teaching staff at the School of Hope for the children under the care of SVSG. They have started volunteering one day a week, then it was extended to two days of teaching at the School as well as providing sewing trainings for the older girls.
While Sisters on a Mission here in Samoa for the Church have started and completed their Mission, still there were Sisters available to continue this important support for the children at the Campus of Hope.
Today, the Sisters hosted the children and their carers for a Christmas activity at the LDS Chapel at Pesega. Much preparation and time has been devoted by these Good Samaritans to making this wonderful event for the children. And the children enjoyed the festivities, the food, the entertainment and the fellowship with the Sisters. Thank you so much Sister Darla Anderson, Sister Alicia McBride, Sister Ellsworth and all the Sisters that have returned home, for your commitment to seeing these children recover successfully from the hardships they have been through.
SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang joined the Christmas activity and thanked the Sisters for including the children at the Campus of Hope as part of their Mission here in Samoa. “Special acknowledgement of the vision by President Hannemann which has seen SVSG working in partnership with the Church in providing the relevant support required. On behalf of the children, I wish you and your families a merry Christmas and a most prosperous new year.”
Every woman who is brave enough to report violence is a Hero. Every woman who instigated violence and is doing something about it is therefore a Champion, because at Samoa Victim Support Group, every family we reunite is a Victory.
The SVSG Women’s Advocacy Program Against Violence 2016 – Tina Faufautua – has been marked by a substantial reduction of 34 women or 58% referrals from the Family Court for counseling support, compared to 81 recorded for 2015. With 16 women referred from 2015 who continued onto 2016, this takes the total number of women in the Advocacy Program for 2016 to 50.
Coming from different backgrounds, different circumstances surrounding their offending but with the same status, as mothers, SVSG’s work appealed to this important role each offender played in her family.
Anger and stress management, family relationships, goal setting and spiritual guidance form part of the counseling rehabilitation program. From 4 weeks to 3 months depending on the duration of the program as referred from the Courts, these mothers remain committed to change not only for themselves, but most importantly, for their families. And SVSG is mindful of the difficulty in achieving behavioral change.
This week, our proud mothers, the Champions of domestic violence in the homes, came together to celebrate together with SVSG and the facilitators of the program, their achievements. There has been noted improvement in relations with their husbands, children, parents, siblings and their neighbors; they have learned self-control when in conflicting situations; most importantly, they have been agents of change, advocating for violence free families in their women’s committee, village and church communities.
SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang acknowledged the commitment from the volunteer facilitators, Mrs. Tutaia Mariner and Mrs. Milo Cordtz, who have been with the Tina Faufautua Program throughout the year. “Thank you also to the volunteer mothers from various churches who have carried this work together with us. As a community, we have nurtured the goodness in these mothers, now becoming Champions of ending violence in the homes.” Wishing all our families a joyous and safer festive season.
They came to bless the children with gifts to show their love, but in return, they were just as blessed themselves. This was the overall feeling of the youth from the Apia Vicariate of the Catholic Church comprised of Matautu, Leone, Togafuafua, Taufusi, Saleufi, Vaimoso and the St. Anthony during their visit at the Campus of Hope on Sunday.
The visit was led by Father Losi Numia and accompanied by Deacon Faaletonu Une and it was the youth’s initiative during this festive season, as the world await the commemoration of the ultimate gift for us all, the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. It highlights the giving hearts of these emerging leaders as they choose to share the love of God with the vulnerable children at the Campus of Hope.
For most of the youth, they have heard of the Campus, but the visit was their first time to actually see the reality of life within the Campus, and this is the children. A seed has been planted and now the Apia Vicariate Youth is now on board to support the children any way they can, whether it be cleaning the compound, joining the volunteers at the Campus or be part of the SVSG youth group, the SVSG Juniors.
Bulk food supplies, toiletries, vegetables and fruits were donated by the Apia Vicariate Youth during their visit. The supplies will assist greatly in providing for our children at the Campus.
SVSG President thanked Father Losi for it was following the Holy Family Parish visit in October that started this continuous fellowship. To the youth, Siliniu Lina Chang reminded them to walk in faith with Christ and “thank you to your parents for supporting you in putting together the donation for the children and treasure your families as not all the children enjoy that privilege.”
It surely is a season to be jolly as the General Manager of the Bank of the South Pacific, Tuiloma Maryanne Lameko-Vaai acknowledged the work by Samoa Victim Support Group in caring for the abused children, by putting up a complete Christmas tree with presents, for the children at the Campus of Hope.
As part of their corporate responsibility, the Bank will donate annually for a charity during this festive season. For this year, it was the first time that the Bank had brought the Christmas spirit of giving to the Campus, and it was special.
A wish list from the children was sent to the Bank and the smile, the joy and the eagerness on their faces, say it all. Even the babies at the Nursery Shelter were included in the Christmas treat by the BSP.
To complete the special treat, Santa was none other than the reigning Miss Samoa, Miss Pricilla Olano, who greeted each child and presented them with their presents. What a joy, and what a blessed feeling to be a part of a community that takes its responsibility at heart, when sharing the Christmas spirit with the abused, the abandoned, the disabled and the most vulnerable children.
Representing SVSG at this joyous occasion was the Chairperson for the Board, Mrs. Georgina Lui, who thanked Tuiloma, the management and the staff of the Bank of the South Pacific for sharing the spirit of Christmas with the children at the Campus of Hope.
President of SVSG Samoa