A Ray of Hope

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia ,

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THANK YOU: Associate Minister of Health, Salausa Ah Ching, S.V.S.G President, Siliniu Lina Chang, Digicel Chairman, Pepe Christian Fruean, E.F.K.S Vice Chairman, Rev. Elder Tautiaga Senara, S.V.S.G Patron, Tuisugaletaua Aveau Sofara and Supreme Court Judg

THANK YOU: Associate Minister of Health, Salausa Ah Ching, S.V.S.G President, Siliniu Lina Chang, Digicel Chairman, Pepe Christian Fruean, E.F.K.S Vice Chairman, Rev. Elder Tautiaga Senara, S.V.S.G Patron, Tuisugaletaua Aveau Sofara and Supreme Court Judg

A building called the Ray of Hope for victims of sexual abuse and incest opened its doors yesterday at the Samoa Victims Support Group (S.V.S.G) shelter in Tuanaimato. 

The project which cost $390,000 will accommodate 18 victims and a trained caregiver. 

The initiative was made possible through many hands put together from organisations, individuals and companies to fund it with the main donor being the Ray of Hope Foundation.  

Pepe Fiaailetoa Fruean, the Digicel Chairman and brother of the late Ray Fruean whom the Trust is named after, acknowledged the work of S.V.S.G who have been the “pillar of hope” for the victims even when their families have turned their backs on them. 

He said the Ray of Hope has lent a shoulder to help S.V.S.G rebuild lives of the young girls and give them a ray of hope for the future.

“In an ideal world there will be no need for Samoa Victim Support Group,” said Pepe. 

Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi cuts the ribbon for Ray of Hope House.
Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi cuts the ribbon for Ray of Hope House.

“In an ideal world there would be no need for Ray of Hope Foundation. In an ideal world we would all have perfect families…unfortunately we don’t live in an ideal world.” Inside the maternity wing it has several rooms with a kitchen, washing room and bathrooms.  A medical consultation room has also been included on sight to allow volunteer medical professionals to administer assistance to the girls where they live. 

In 2014 during the United Nation Small Island Developing States conference a concert was organised by Digicel and a group from New Zealand called the Dawn of Raid.

The Ray of Hope concert which raised $100,000 was in tribute to the late businessman Raymond Fruean. An additional $300,000 was donated by the Digicel Chairman during the UNSIDS private sector forum.

Mr. Fruean’s daughter, Cherelle Fruean, who was involved in the concert, was overwhelmed.

In acknowledging the hard work of those that were involved in the project, she said her father would have been honoured to have the shelter built and named after him.  “The home is fully air conditioned, fully furnished, 6 bedrooms with a capacity of around 18 people. It has it's own doctors room and a full time nurse that will cater to the girls,” she said. “This home will be a place of comfort and peace for young mothers that have survived traumatic journeys of sexual violence. “This home will be a new start and a place of fostering dreams! This home will not be a place for victims but a place for survivors, ready to take their place in the world. 

“What a beautiful tribute this is to my father. It encompasses everything that he was as a person; loving, kind and good to others. Thank you to everyone that came together to make this happen. I am forever thankful for you and I wish you nothing but love and happiness.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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