Encouragement and support is the leading force of leaders.
For the Young Women's Christian Association (Y.W.C.A.) of Samoa, the Manu Samoa team is an epitome of a true leader.
On Tuesday, Y.M.C.A. began their “Pray for Manu Samoa” campaign to show their support for the team’s match against Germany this Saturday.
The campaign is a result of their two-week annual Training of Trainers (T.O.T.) workshop, which began on Monday.
The discussed topics are issues that affect young women, which include human rights, violence against women, sexually protective health rights, climate change and many others.
One part of the training is to encourage young women to take up leadership.
“The leadership session is to empower the women to become leaders. One of the topic talks about self-confidence and how leaders inspire one another,” General Secretary of Y.W.C.A. Samoa, Taimalelagi Ramona Tugaga said.
“So we asked the members what organisations needed that self-confidence boost and the majority mentioned the Manu Samoan team, which got a lot of critics in the past few weeks."
“We started our campaign to show our support for the Samoan team. They are leaders and we are here for them no matter what comes.”
T.O.T. guides young women when they go out to share their knowledge with their peers.
“We created a space for young women with the assistance of experts on various topics,” Taimalelagi explained.
Y.W.C.A. of Samoa profits through the experience, knowledge and first hand information of the specialists who teach the various topics.
“The experts used to come to us, but now we go to them, which is much better. Each trainer has a specific topic, for example we have teenage pregnancy and an A.I.D.S. specialist,” Taimalelagi said.
Y.W.C.A. of Samoa has trained about 200 young women to train other young women in Savai’i and Upolu.
The participants are from various areas. At this session, two of the 20 selected members represent Savai’i.
“They all have a passion for young women. Each of them has a story to tell,” Taimalelagi said.
In March this year, Y.W.C.A. of Samoa launched their Pacific manual, which is an addition to their international training manual.
This manual is just used around the Pacific, in the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and now Samoa.
This new manual is based on culture and the values in the Pacific Islands.
“We only used it in Pacific and then we realised that it is much needed and very similar to overseas because the foreign ones were just very palagi, they do not have any traditional and cultural values compared to our young women issues."
“So we adopted the Pacific manual to the international one. So now it is a proud Pacific manual for women. Before it was just a general outlook on young women. You need one for your own country because you wouldn’t like to present something that is not yours."
“We have seen a lot of changes over the past three years. The girls understand more where to go. Our phone is ringing all the time even when it is just for an advise, anything,” Taimalelagi said.
Y.W.C.A. of Samoa is an international Christian faith-based organization with international links.