Reviving of the traditional Samoan Culture of male respect for women and girls, is the main focus of the partnership project by the UNESCO and Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG) funded by the Spotlight Initiative. The focus is to eliminate violence against women and girls.
In taking ownership of the project focus, SVSG had taken the global #WithHer Campaign and localize it, giving it the #SamoaWithHer title.
The 12-months project is fronted by the SVSG Juniors, the youth sub-group of SVSG, as part of the UNESCO Spotlight Initiative.
It is an initiative that sees the YOUTH, putting the Spotlight on RESPECT, to eliminate violence against women and girls.
The project builds on the rationale that while the Samoan culture supports male respect for women and girls, our society has been undergoing changes. These changes have created another reality that legitimizes violence as traditional values give-way. The culture of violence and abuse of girls, however, reflects a change built on erosion of traditional value.
Samoan traditions include goth male and female views. This project is an attempt to bring thee values to life as living traditions while empowering survivors of violence to take charge of their lives.
The objectives are to:
The expected outcome would be behavioral and mentality change amongst the youth on aspects of the Samoan culture of respect, that if revived, would assist in eliminating violence against women and girls. It involves mentoring activities for the youths, setting up virtual knowledge platform on social media, promoting international networking.
It is fronted by 250 Youth Social Animators, selected from more than 50 church and village youth groups in Samoa, registered as SVSG Junior members.
It will see the SVSG Juniors, once again, connecting with its international Breaking the Cycle of Violence (BreakIN) partners namely Centre for Health & Social Justice (India), Youth First (Madagascar), Emancipator (Netherlands), and CERUJOVI (Spain); and regionally, with the Alliance for Future Generations (Fiji) and EI8HT Sports (New Zealand).
We here at SVSG are excited of taking this innovative approach, whereby the youth and culture are looked at, to effect behavioral and mentality change to eliminate violence against women and girls.