The Chair and the Board of the Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG) today launched the ‘Saving Lives’ Campaign; appealing to our people to Speak Out and ask for help when in need. Speaking during the press conference to launch the Campaign, Mrs. Georgina Lui, the Chair of the Board reiterated that“no problem is too big to warrant an end to a life; there is always Help available.”
The Campaign is an initiative at the wake of incidences of abandoned babies in Samoa of late. As the national child protection agency, child abandonment really gets to the heart of our work with children, which calls for more vigorous action.
The Saving Lives Campaign is focused on reminding our people that HELP is available through the services offered by SVSG such as: (1) The Free 24 hour Help Line number 800-7874; it offers anonymity for those who wish to remain anonymous; it offers counselling in confidence; and it is manned by a compassionate pool of staff (2) There is support for walk in clients to SVSG’s Apia office or the one at Tuasivi Savaii; (3) The SVSG village representatives in villages have been trained to offer first hand support.
An awareness on these services will be through a Multi-Media approach such as Help Line signboards along the roadside; Brochures/Pamphlets; Posters inside hospitals, church halls, school buildings, buses, ferries between the islands; Radio talk back shows; social media postings and messages; and open statements by government, church, village, business leaders on the television networks. The media will therefore play a very important role in getting the message on the support services available at SVSG out there to our community.
At the same time, the Positive Movement program to end violence, stigma and discrimination will further promote the ‘Saving Lives’ message that ‘Life is a gift from God, not for us to take onto our own hands, no matter the ciurcumstances.’
For 10 years from 2009 to 2019, SVSG has saved more than 100 abandoned babies left at the shelter gates, in front our our office in Apia and at Tuasivi, dropped off by concerned citizens who wished to remain anonymous, or babies born from mothers with mental disabilities roaming the streets. Despite the odd hours of the calls or how risky the situation may be, we thank you for choosing to trust us by picking up the phone and call us for help. We therefore say thank you to Bluesky and Digicel for continuing to sponsor the operation of the Help Line.
“As a country that prides itself as a Christian nation founded on God, we are calling on everyone to please, we have a social responsibility for each others safety. Let us support each other, help each other and care for each other, like we do towards ourselves.” Georgina Lui, Chair of the SVSG Board