Unpaid work that can make a change

By Aruna Lolani 05 July 2017, 12:00AM

Doris Tulifau, is certain of one thing; and that is working for a great cause can make a difference in this world.

Ms. Tulifau is known as the ambassador for Samoa Victim Support Group Juniors and as well, she has been doing volunteer work for different organizations in the country for two months.

She has been working alongside S.V.S.G. President Siliniu Lina Chang and S.V.S.G. members as well as other different N.G.O’s and although it has been an amazing work experience for Doris, one wonders where it all began for her. 

In an inclusive interview of Samoa Observer, Ms. Tulifau said she gave her heart to this work when she became a victim herself and she came to do some research on domestic violence and sexual assault in Samoa.

“Being a victim myself of sexual assault and domestic violence, I wanted to come back to Samoa and see what we were doing here to solve the problem of domestic violence and sexual assault especially if it’s in the family or village, and finding out what are the different protocols, and if I could learn as much as possible to try to find a way to help us Samoans in America."

“I have been working with our dynamic team that comes from all walks of life to tackle this subject of D.V., sexual abuse, anti bullying, drugs and alcohol etc." 

 “I also came here to donate to the S.V.S.G. shelter with school supplies from my organization BROWN GIRL WOKE and the help of Lydia Ioane U.C.L.A. N.P.I. C.C.C.P. & Janessa Maddox with contributing 80 U.C.L.A. back packs, school supplies also another N.G.O. called Ofa Atu organization that paid for the suit cases to come from America to Samoa." 

“My family has helped them in the past and I literally grew up watching S.V.S.G. grow and Lina Chang has watched me as a youth during my undergrad time  to owning my own N.G.O. and in my PhD.”

Ms. Tulifau’s voice has not only been heard by many but she has also inspired a lot of people who are victims of so many different issues.

“I've been asked to speak at different organization Y.W.C.A. Samoa, Alliance of American Samoa, American Samoa Community College, Peace Corps panel, on my work as a human activist and my own N.G.O. called Brown Girl Woke which is an organization and movement on being accountable as brown girls to be at the forefront of social injustices happening around the world."

“I've been really close to Young Women’s Christian Association because I think every Samoan girl that has grown up in church would appreciate this amazing group." 

“They take girls from around Samoa and train them about Human Rights and let them go back to the villages and speak to youth on how to tackle these issues." 

“They allowed me to be a part of the three day training and come to speak to the girls as a guest speaker so it’s been amazing being a part of the conversation and the work; we have to be in the conversation and fighting for each other.”

Ms.Tulifau was also involved in the outreach programme at the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints at Sataoa; a programme that appeals to all sectors of a community from the village council, the churches, the women’s committee, the untitled men and ladies groups and the families, in a community.

“I’ve been doing my dissertation on the idea IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD and S.V.S.G. juniors brought that idea to life to take to villages."

We speak too because we truly believe that all the layers that we have in a village i.e. family, churches, schools, chiefs, aumaga(untitled men), alii so forth, there should be no reason any child should be left behind for sexual assault, drugs and alcohol.

“WE HAVE TO BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR EACH OTHER! S.V.S.G. junior used this frame work to take to the villages in rural areas and it was so powerful because everyone understood our theme IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD!" “She has been a part of the ground work for Nofotane project." 

“I have been doing the ground work with the Nofotane project." 

“I have walked all the markets and plaza with our team promoting the workshops that S.V.S.G. will be providing women." 

“I am very proud to be a part of project that promotes gender equality.”

“It’s been amazing, seeing everyone understanding the issues that we spoke about, our culture and how we try to make sure that we understand the Samoan way in the villages especially how you speak."

“You know it’s so much work compared to America where you just go and speak but here, they have to make sure that they don’t disrespect a certain rule which is really hard and being here in the dynamic of it has helped in understanding different people."

“It’s the work that you don’t get paid for, it’s hard work. So it’s something that helps you understand yourself if you’re really a person that wants to give back.”

And Ms. Tulifau will be continuing her work to make a difference in this world and Samoa will be expecting more visits from in the future as she has other plans for our country.

“I was invited by the amazing U.N. Country Coordinator Mele Mauala for any input in a programme for young girls called Glow Girls, and I am glad to be coming back to Samoa and helping with the project in any way I can." 

“I will be traveling around the Pacific this year, Guam, Palau, New Zealand and Tonga on the same work I am doing on taboo issues sexual assault and domestic violence, trying to learn what they are doing and making a Pacific network to try to help our people." 

“We shouldn't reinvent the wheel!”

By Aruna Lolani 05 July 2017, 12:00AM

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