Starting Monday 15th February 2016, the Samoa Victim Support Group (S.V.S.G) will roll out community awareness and educational programmes for villages and schools throughout Upolu and Savai’i.
The programmes are supported by U.N.I.C.E.F and promote child protection issues in Samoa highlighted in the Child Protection Baseline Survey 2013.
Specifically, parents and caregivers will be invited to the community awareness programmes to encourage, share on experience and promote positive discipline.
A general understanding of the Family Safety Act 2013 will form part of the awareness on positive discipline.
Educational programmes will target primary school children up to 14 years of age, who have been identified in the survey as lacking understanding of inappropriate behaviour.
“S.V.S.G.’s experience in working with children either through case referral or through its shelter care services had shaped how the children will be approached during the programs,” a statement from S.V.S.G says.
“The aim is to raise awareness on what is acceptable or unacceptable behaviour, and to encourage children to speak out freely about children protection issues.”
The awareness team will include the S.V.S.G President and staff, a representative from the Attorney General’s office, churches, village leaders and a representative for the children at the shelter, who will share on her experience to encourage children reached by the program to speak out.
The Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development is coordinating the resources required for the awareness programmes through funding from U.N.I.C.E.F Pacific.
Throughout the year, the sheltered children will be implementing their own rehabilitation activities, courtesy of funding from U.N.I.C.E.F.
The outcome will see these children successfully reintegrated into the community. This valuable support from U.N.I.C.E.F. for the children of Samoa is therefore acknowledged with gratitude and appreciation.