Raising awareness about cyber bullying

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PRESENTATION:  Kevin Schuster of EMD presents.

PRESENTATION: Kevin Schuster of EMD presents.

The cyber bullying workshop organised by the Samoa Fa’afafine Association (S.F.A.) has been hailed a success. 

Held last week Saturday, the workshop was considered a milestone achievement for S.F.A. because it brought out in numbers the young members of the association between the ages of16 and 40.

The turnout was impressive considering 30 percent of participants were non-S.F.A. members and 20 percent of participants were fa’afatama.

The workshop, held at Hotel Millennia Conference Room, was a half day full on event and funded by U.N. Global Fund. 

Presenters included Kevin Schuster who was also the main facilitator, Taimalelagi Kaisarina Salesa, Program Coordinator for Samoa National Youth Council and Charlize Leo, the reigning Miss S.F.A.

“It was great to be part of the workshop especially placing emphasis on what cyber bullying is and understanding the signs so everyone can stay alert,” said Mr. Schuster during his presentation.

The presentations were all from different perspectives but were all aimed at educating the young fa’afafines and fa’afatamas on the issue of cyber bullying. 

While all three presenters bombarded the workshop on different definitions and takes on cyber bullying, the interactive sessions made all the learning more exciting for all the participants.

Norris Latu Asi, a participant, spoke very highly of the workshop.

ALL EARS: Participants at the workshop held at Hotel Millenia last week.
ALL EARS: Participants at the workshop held at Hotel Millenia last week.

 “Thank you to S.F.A. for spearheading this very useful and productive workshop. I am happy to say I have learnt a lot from this workshop and look forward to more similar initiatives by not just S.F.A but also other organizations like S.N.Y.C.” 

Another highlight of the workshop was the discussions around the existing legislation in Samoa on cyber bullying. 

Taimalelagi highlighted Section 219 of the Crimes Act 2013 and provided clarity on what could be done from the legal side for the perpetrators of cyber bullying. 

This was thoroughly enjoyed by the participants and most of them, for the first time have learnt that they can report cyber bullies. 

Like all S.F.A. activities, there was a mixture of moods and emotions during the discussions. 

Whilst some were keen on speeding up their learning on the issue, others were quick to relate themselves to the discussions in humorous ways. 

This was turned around during the reigning Miss S.F.A.’s presentation – when a very emotional video of a former American youth, a victim of cyber bullying, and one that after years of torture on social media, she then committed suicide.

This was clear evidence on the severity of cyber bullying and how it can affect young people and the ultimate objective of this workshop is to ensure none of our young Samoans would ever have to go through that.

It was a pleasure for S.F.A. to have non-members and fa’afatamas at the workshop and also linking up with the Samoa National Youth Council on this initiative. The President of S.F.A. and Executive Council Members were also present.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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