Miss Samoa takes to rural schools

Aspiring primary school teacher and Miss Samoa, Sonia Piva, is mentoring children alongside the Brown Girl Woke (BGW) programme this year.

BGW is a movement formed to facilitate women’s empowerment, and to strength young girls across Samoa. By extension, BGW has been running after school children’s activities in rural villages and is set to continue this year.

As a strong advocate for education and healthy living, partnering up with Maluseu Doris Tufilau and the BGW movement is a perfect fit, Ms Piva said.

“When Doris informed me about her programme I thought perfect, because getting into schools is exactly what I wanted to do,” she said.

“I like her initiative of going out to rural areas and promoting performing arts, and especially recently how we have been incorporating relevant issues into the dance with the children.”

The BGW team – Maluseu, dance mentors Keiran Ah Sam, Eterei Sailele and Fetu Leilua and Ms Piva – spend up to two hours with children either in village communal areas or in the school halls dancing, learning and getting to know each other.

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Ms. Piva said for her as the Miss Samoa, the opportunity to get involved with a program focused on empowering young women is important.

“I am really passionate about young women and empowerment of young women and I love the idea of bringing them together for spoken word or dance to uplift each other,” she said.

“The goal for me is the community involvement with the schools – getting out there, and letting them know we are thinking of them and we do want them to do better.” 

“It’s also the stimulation for them as well. It can get pretty boring out in the rural areas and going out there and giving them a good time, making them feel that community involvement is always good.”

The children start out tired from a day of school. But within a few minute of being together with the BGW team and their peers, the excitement begins.

“But when they see us they get excited and they switch out of it,” Ms Piva said.

“And we always do a bit of Zumba at the beginning to get them ready and excited for the program we have for them for the day.”

Upolu primary schools in Solosolo and Safata have been covering a variety of topics with BGW. Solosolo will be learning about climate change through dance with Brianna Fruean, Climate Change Warrior, and Safata are preparing to host Team Papua New Guinea for the Pacific Games.

“It was pretty fun teaching them the national anthem and doing some dances with them, a little welcome to the team we will be hosting,” Ms. Piva said.

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