Representatives from 14 schools of the Auckland Central Catholic Kāhui Ako (ACCKA), arrived in the country this week for the much anticipated Samoa Malaga Tautua 2023, hosted by the Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG).
Lead by the Marist College of Auckland as part of the school’s ongoing partnership with SVSG, the trip has been delayed for two years because of border closure due to COVID-19.
As such, SVSG and the ACCKA Malaga Tautua Coordinator, Mrs. Makerita Tagomoa-Papalii of the Marist College have put a lot of effort into coordinating the week-long malaga, to ensure sustainable benefits are set and realised for all.
The delegation were welcomed by the children survivors of violence at the Campus of Hope, during a traditional ava ceremony performed by the children themselves. Some of the former students of the Marist College, who visited the Campus during previous trips, are returning as parents and as teachers themselves.
Together, they experienced a day in the life of a child survivor at the Campus, as they helped with preparing the ‘umu’ for their lunch, climbed some coconut trees, teach the older children some art work skills while others opted to look after the babies at the nurseries.
Today saw the delegation sitting down with the SVSG management; an opportunity to learn, discuss and share knowledge on the magnitude of SVSG’s support services in Samoa, and how the ACCKA Malaga can advocate for support upon their returning home.
According to Mrs. Tagomoa-Papalii, “we are amazed to witness the progress in all the work by SVSG since the last time we visited in 2018. From the Campus to the Office to the Economic Empowerment of the Nofotane Women; we can only imagine the hard work translated into this progress, and we are glad to be a part of the support that has been there for SVSG.”
From serious business to fun activities, all of the children of hope including their carers were treated for a day at the beach by the visiting NZ schools. This was before the delegation bought some souvenirs and gifts for their families at home, through purchasing from the Nofotane shop and market stalls at the Office.
A trip to Savaii is included in the itinerary to complete the Samoa Malaga Tautua 2023.
Over the years, the Marist College have been donating and fundraising in New Zealand for SVSG. Majority of these donations are to support the running of th Campus. For this trip, shipment of donations have been received for the Campus as well.
SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang, acknowledged the long partnership with the Marist family in New Zealand. “Thank you Makerita for extending your advocacy role for SVSG to include 14 other schools of the Auckland Central Catholic Kāhui Ako (ACCKA). We valued the sincerity of the love shared throughout this partnership, and we look towards extending this partnership with students, teachers and parents of the schools represented in this Samoa Malaga Tautua.”