A nine month project implemented by Samoa Victim Support Group to eliminate violence against women and girls, with financing assistance from the government of Samoa, has come to an end.
The project reached seven villages, six colleges, five untitled men’s groups, fifteen youth groups, a hundred self employed Nofotane women, 136 women and children survivors of violence under SVSG’s shelter care program, and 45 child vendors, in what is described by the SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang, as “a whole of community approach” by SVSG to engage men and boys in efforts to eliminate violence against women and girls.
The project started in the middle of the COVID-19 lockdown in April 2022, when the project agreement between SVSG and the Government of Samoa was signed.
The project focused on the implementation of six main activities fronted by men and boys to eliminate violence against women and girls, premised on the them: E le Sauā Tamalii or Noble Men are not Cruel.
The six activities included:
1. Counselling support for victims of abuse and perpetrators of violence, through renovation work to improve the office space used for one-on-one counselling as well as focused group counselling for the perpetrators of violence referred from the family court. Information brochures on the support services available at SVSG formed part of the counselling activity.
2. Advocacy programs with 7 villages namely Matautu Falealili, Saleapaga, Lalomauga, Fusi Safata, Faleatiu, Avao and Vaipu’a where the leaders were supported as they drew up their own Community Prevention Guides to EVAWG.
Key message documentaries have been drawn up by six colleges, using performing arts as a mean of delivering the messages to young boys on positive ways to address social issues affecting them.
3. Support for the women and children surivors of violence under the care of SVSG’s shelter program.
4. Welfare support for the empowered Nofotane women, untitled men (aumaga) group and unemployed youths through livelihood skill building for income generation, hence alleviate financial distress, poverty and EVAWG.
5. Awareness program fronted by government, church, village leaders and sportsmen ambassadors who spoke publicly against violence.
6. Educational assistance for child vendors being placed back to school while supporting their parents with livelihood skill building for income generation.
On the 23rd of January 2023, the government leaders, church and village leaders development partners, youths and young boys from the targeted groups, will come together to celebrate progress being made to eliminate violence against women and girls.
According to SVSG Presdient, the official closing of the government assisted project is a celebration of the boldness of our male leaders in standing up to Say NO to Violence.
“It is a continuation of educational awareness through social media and messaging by young boys who will grow up to become men of honor, who will not tolerate violence against women and girls,” says Siliniu.