About the Spotlight Initiative Programme:
The Spotlight Initiative is a global, multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
Launched with a seed funding commitment of €500 million from the European Union, the Pacific region has one regional programme and four country programmes of which Samoa is one of them that has received USD 4.3 million under the Spotlight Initiative’s €50 million envelope for the Pacific region. The Spotlight Initiative's focus for the Pacific Region, including Samoa, is Domestic Violence (DV) and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).
The Spotlight Initiative places an emphasis on the role, leadership and engagement of civil society organisations to leverage the government ongoing efforts in soliciting people’s commitment to address DV/IPV.
The overall coordination, monitoring and reporting and communications and advocacy of the Spotlight Initiative programmes are the roles vested with the UN Resident Coordinators Office and it is implemented by five of the UN agencies including the UN Women as the Technical Lead, the UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF and UNFPA.
About the Spotlight Initiative – Samoa Victim Support Group Programme on “Mobilizing Creative Sector and Traditional Institutions For Ending Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence"
There are 8 different villages where this project is being implemented. 7 in Upolu and 1 in Savaii. The project theme is ‘My Village. My Pride’ – ‘O lo’u Nuu, O lo’u Mitamitaga’. The project objective is to make the traditional leaders, youth and artists take courageous and creative actions to end domestic and intimate partner violence. It is believed that traditional Samoan culture supports male respect for women and girls. However, Samoan society has been undergoing changes. These changes have created another reality that legitimizes violence as traditional values give-way. Despite this, there is very little discussion about Samoan culture and what it has to offer for respect for women and girls in the families and in intimate relationships. Often “culture” itself is attributed as a factor of violence. Using our cultural traditional arts as a medium to discuss sensitive issues such as gender based violence is community oriented and appropriate. They key messages we focus on disseminating throughout the project are:
Through the use of performing arts and the mobilizing of our traditional institutions, we can spread the key messages of the Spotlight campaign. While considerable resources have been spent in Samoa on issues of gender equality, few have engaged the traditional and modern forms for arts as a method of building capacity for grassroots mobilization for social justice and ending domestic and intimate partner violence. This sub-project of the Samoa Spotlight Initiative is to use traditional performing arts in conjunction with traditional institutions to make community based transformative justice an option and community accountability a subject reality. Expected project outcomes are the numerous opportunities for potential positive transformative pathways to create spaces for women and girls through the use of creativity, knowledge and skills expressed by generations.
In the village of Satitoa on Friday 30 July from 6pm, SVSG together with the SVSG Village Representatives have coordinated a second performing arts awareness competition.
There are 3 categories to the Performing Arts Awareness Competition:
1. Debate on a topic provided by the village. In the village of Satitoa it will focus on the topic:
O Tina, o le Ola o se Aiga (based on a well in Satitoa that existed through the women's hard work)
The women's team will argue in support of the topic. The men's team will be on the opposing side
The debate topics are chosen by the villagers’ themselves so they differ from location to location.
2. Four teams will compete in the Women's Performing Arts Competition - based on the different artefacts from Satitoa that either addresses violence or promotes peace and pride in one’s community.
3. Four teams will compete in the Youth Performing Arts Competition - same as the women, except, the youth includes contemporary performance.
There are 15 UN organizations in Apia that form the UN Country Team serving the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau: FAO, ILO, UNDP,UNCDF, UN Volunteers, the Global Fund & Small Grants Programme, UNEP, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNFPA, UN Women, WHO, WMO, OCHA.
The implementation of UN programmes, are led by government ministries; in partnership with international and regional organizations, the private sector, non- governmental organizations, civil society organizations, faith-based organizations and the media.
For more information on the UN Country Team Samoa please visit:
UN Samoa website: samoa.un.org
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