Disability Week a success
The Samoa celebration of the International Disability Week has been a success, says the disability advocacy organisation, Nuanua o le Alofa (NOLA).
The celebration included announcing the winners of a poem and short videos competition, which revolved around the themes of equality, diversity and inclusion.
The organisation’s office manager, Mata’afa Faatino Utumapu, said the objective of the competition was to convey messages that emphasised the removal of barriers against people living with disabilities and to demonstrate protection, promotion and respect for the human rights of persons.
The competition was opened to individuals living with and without disabilities with entries open from November to December 7.
All competition categories were awarded cash prizes. The first place winners receive $600 tala, second $400 tala and third $300 tala. Consolation prize winners received $100 tala each.
The top prize in the adult short video competition category—which was given by Ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma—went to Tusiga Peseta, followed by Henry Kovati and Lumana’i Talailemotu. No students competed in that video category.
In the poem category, prizes were given to about 20 participants. First place went to Edwina Faaolatane Pao, a Year 5 student at Vaimoso Primary School, with 19-year-old Francis Faalili second. The prizes were presented to the winners by Louisa Apelu, the Assistant CEO at the Ministry of Woman Community and Social Development.
In the adult poem category, Talatau Setefano from Fagali’i Uta took first place, followed by Vatapuia Tuulima from Gautavai, Savai’i and Isaako Tuato in third. Consolation prize was awarded to Tepatasi Gray, Henry Kovati and Mark Kovati.
Mata’afa said there was a limited time for participants to submit their entries—due to funding availability—but the deadline was extended, which enabled more people to participate.
“Well all I can say is that it has been a very successful two weeks of events with all the activities that have been achieved with successful outcomes,” she said.