Samoa Victim Support Group was at Solosolo during the week to resume its community prevention program to address violence against children, put on hold due to the covid lockdowns.
30 parents attended the session themed ‘Understanding how Children Think and Feel’; while 20 youth attended a session on ‘Alcohol, Drugs, and Peer Pressure’ specially designed for adolescents.
Solosolo is one of the seven targeted communities taking part in a prevention program implemented by SVSG in partnership with UNICEF Pacific.
Parents in Solosolo village were supported to better understand their responsibilities to nurture and guide their children as they pass through different development stages.
“The aim of the program is to enable parents in these communities to gain a better understanding of violence against children and to apply effective parenting strategies,” said SVSG Chair Ms Georgina Lui.
The parents sessions is ‘Module 4’ of the programme, focused on parents’ ability to understand how their children think and feel.
“From an unborn child to a new born baby all the way up to 18 years of age.. Parents are taken through how the needs of a child change, and so does the role of parents,” said Ms Lui.
Tears were shed as parents shared emotional stories of their various trials and triumphs, which attest to their improved parenting knowledge, attitude and practice.
In an interview with Lemafa Tilo Leota, who is the chief orator of Solosolo, he expressed his gratitude towards the initiative. “The program reminds us of the importance of having the connection between parents and children to avoid violence in families, villages and churches.” Lemafa thanked SVSG for rolling out the seminars, especially the positive messages for communities.
The adolescents’ session ran parallel, with a focus on how to protect themselves against alcohol, drugs and peer pressure.
“Not only did they learn about the dangers of drugs and peer pressure; they were also given the opportunity to explore violence prevention strategies through group activities and role playing. Their interest in the topic fuelled the discussions and contributed to the success of the seminar,” said the SVSG Chair.
SVSG will continue to carry out the prevention program in five other communities with the aim to mainstream positive discipline parenting and equip adolescents with social and emotional capacities as they grow into young adults.
SVSG acknowledges the support of UNICEF Pacific through its partnership, to build the capacity of SVSG to facilitate the community prevention programs in the selected village communities.
“Thank you also to the Solosolo Women’s Committee for hosting the Program,” concluded Ms Georgina Lui.