Their smiles say it all.
Pamela Andrewartha and Raelene Granthon are returning home having received their Certificates of Recognition for being ‘Outstanding Volunteers’ with Samoa Victim Support Group.
The two childhood friends from Canberra and South Australia have a reason to be all smiles, as they are the first volunteers with S.V.S.G. to have received such honorary recognition, and well deserved one at that.
Proud in their flora locally made dresses, Pamela and Raelene shared with S.V.S.G why they kept coming back to help out at the Campus of Hope; Pamela being her third time and Raelene’s second time.
“I remembered when I first came in 2015, and how I was put on the spot from the start, that this is Samoa, not Australia,” Pamela said.
“I did not realize the relevance of that reminder until I worked at the nursery shelter, and seeing the marvelous job these people were doing with the meager resources they have. Simply amazing!”
After six weeks of volunteering at the Campus, with all their expenses self-funded, the volunteers are not calling it quits yet.
Despite their age and the difficulty of travelling, they are willing to continue with their support, if not here in Samoa, then in Australia through hosting members of S.V.S.G. when they visit.
This is the extent of the growth of the S.V.S.G. Family, as Pamela and Raelene have become the latest addition. Pamela has sealed her membership further with a tattoo.
S.V.S.G. President, Siliniu Lina Chang, acknowledges on behalf of the Patron, the hearts of these ladies to volunteer.
“As the first ever volunteers to be recognized for ‘Outstanding Volunteer’ work, you should be proud of yourselves, just like how we are proud of you both,” she said.
Pamela and Raelene will return home to Australia today, but they will always be remembered as the ladies with the hearts.