American Samoa Governor, Lolo Moliga, and his wife Cynthia Malala-Moliga visited the Samoa Victim Support Group’s Campus of Hope on Tuesday.
The Governor who was in Samoa for the Independence Celebration was accompanied by some members of the American Samoa delegation as well as representatives from Leone village in American Samoa.
During the visit, the children at the Campus performed for the Governor, who is also the Patron of the S.V.S.G in American Samoa.
In addressing them, Mrs. Malala-Moliga said she was deeply touched by the children’s sincerity.
“Programmes like this are very dear to my heart because I had worked for the American Samoa Government from 1984-2005,” she said. “Nine of those years I worked for the social services division of the department of Human Resources.
“I worked for the shelter programme which houses young individuals like yourselves, mothers and infants as well as toddlers, teenagers and later on adult women as well.
“We are all aware and have an understanding of what brought you here to this place here where you reside and it is a special place.”
The Governor’s wife highlighted the important role played by the S.V.S.G.
“This is like a second home away from your original homes,” she said.
“But what I like to also address and acknowledge are the administrators, the volunteers, parents who are all supporting this programme day by day.
“You know when I heard about this, like I said it will always be dear to my heart because we all have people in our lives that we care for, but it takes a bigger heart to deal with unexpected situations and circumstances.
“[And] as I listen this morning to your President, you have even a more challenging situation, your existence depends on the support from the community and from the families.
“As the Governor had mentioned earlier we look forward to providing some assistance, but boys and girls in the meantime be grateful for the opportunity that we have here as I listen to the singing.
“When I went with the Governor to the shelter, we found that it is a 24hour shelter for children of abuse, neglect and abandonment and juveniles as well.
“As I mentioned there are special needs, there are special approaches that utilize the interaction meeting the other young ones or your peers around you, you learn from each other and especially from the leaders and volunteers that are generously giving their time and love and care for you.
“Thank goodness for the programme such as this for projects and programmes and again it goes back to caring individuals and we Samoans we all know we have big hearts and so I like to wish you our love and prayers from American Samoa and the Governor will be in touch and thank you for this opportunity.”
Governor Lolo Moliga also encouraged the children.
“Today’s visit was unexpected but I’m glad we came because we didn’t know that there were a lot of children who are sheltered here,” he said.
“Thank God that there are people who care for you and are willing to do anything to make sure that you succeed in life and that you will get another chance to start afresh despite what you went through.
“So I thank you to the President of S.V.S.G Siliniu Lina Chang and the staff members for the great work that you are doing here.”
In the end, Governor Lolo presented $1,000 to the Shelter and a further US$300 to help with other expenses.