House of Love marks 50 years anniversary
The National Council of Women of Samoa yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of its headquarters, popularly known as the House of Love.
The celebration was held at the TATTE Building yesterday whereas the building is located at Matafele.
Members of the organisation from both Upolu and Savaii gathered for the occasion.
Women leaders in the Government and private sectors as well as civil society attended the commemoration.
The guests included the Masiofo, Her Highness Faamausili Leinafo Tuimalealiifano, Su'a Julia Wallwork (Adventist Development and Relief Agency managing director), Afamasaga Faauiga Mulitalo (CEO of Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development), Lefaoali'i Unutoa Auelua-Fonoti (Samoa’s regulator), Telei'ai Dr. Lalotoa Mulitalo Seumanutafa (Samoa Law Reform Commission executive director), and Taitu’uga Maryann Lameko-Vaai (Bank South Pacific’s Samoa country manager).
The Deputy Prime Minster and president of NCWS, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, delivered the keynote address and highlighted the important role that the organisation continues to play in the country.
“In 1953 the first ever non-governmental organisation called the NCWS was established as the national forum for women in Samoa, comprised of the wives of paramount chiefs and women representatives.
“The main objective was for women to support the village council governance and decision making, which is the inroad for the needed force to support the roles of and advancement of women.
“But also it was for the contribution of women in the health sector, hence there was a small clinic within the headquarters that caters for maternity,” she added.
According to the Deputy P.M., the organisation’s headquarters was built in 1968 and came to be known as the “House of Love”.
“The meaning behind the name is for all the works done by NCWS to be based on love for the people of Samoa. The land that the building is located was owned by the Catholic Church, but was later donated by Cardinal Pio Taofinu'u to NCWS.
“It is significant for the NCWS to continue, due to the role each female representative plays within communities, villages, districts and our country as a whole through their collaboration with village councils and communities,” she added.
The organisation has over 400 members from both Upolu and the Big Island of Savai’i.