Transportation is key to the efforts by Fiamalamalama School to improve the learning experience for their students.
It is for this reason the School is hosting a Corporate Dinner this Friday at the Tuana’imato Golf Course to raise funds for a school bus.
The Chairman of the Samoa Society for the Intellectual Handicapped Inc, Leota Raymond Schuster, said the school needs a bus to collect the students in the morning and drop them off after.
“We are doing this because for some reason many of the families who have children with intellectual disabilities can’t afford to bring their children to school either by bus or by taxi,” said Leota.
“We can’t blame the parents if they don’t have money to bring the children to school. What happens is that the children will never come to school.”
But Leota, who is a lawyer by profession, reminded that every child has a right to education.
“Hence why we are providing this service and have been providing this service for over 36 years to make sure that if a child cries out for an education with intellectual special needs there is a school they can go to.
“And that’s why we need a bus. The bus enables us to get to the child and bring the child to school and take them back home.”
The bus costs $140,000 from Asco Motors.
“So for our corporate dinner this Friday we are targeting $50,000. So you do the math, this means we are looking at three years of fundraising to reach this target for the bus.
“It is a burden that the board has taken. The idea is the service we provide will not stop so that we are still there rain or shine, the school will operate.”
Fiamalamalama was established in 1980. “It was incorporated back in 1980 by parents and children who could not send their children to the mainstream schools,” he said.
“They decided to set up a particular special school for intellectually handicap children but the problem was the total funding of the school had to come from the parents themselves and all the people that sponsored it.
“[And] ever since the school was established in 1980, 70 percent or 80 percent of the money used to run the school has always been from the hands of the parents, the board or the community.”
Corporate tables for Friday’s dinner are being sold for $1,000 for eight people. The prize covers dinner, drinks and entertainment.
If you want to support the Fiamalamalama or donate to them please contact Leota Raymond Schuster on 29291 or visit his office at Schuster & Annadale Law Firm at Tamaligi opposite of NBS.