London award for hard working Group

By Deidre Fanene 11 November 2016, 12:00AM

The President of the Samoa Victim Support Group is back in the country with a renewed hope to continue their work after the organisation received a massive award in London.

President Siliniu Lina Chang and Board member Mulipola Anarosa Molioo arrived from London Tuesday with the “With and For Girls Award” and US$50,000 of flexible funding and capacity building support for the Group.

During a press conference held at the S.V.S.G in Apia, Mulipola said S.V.S.G was nominated and recommended by W.I.B.D.I.

“I think it was how they saw the work of S.V.S.G in Samoa and how we developed the children that are in need and also the victims,” she said.

“According to Adi Malaga Tafunai there were two N.G.O.’s that were recommended one from Fiji and one from Samoa and thank God that these seven donors have appreciated the work of S.V.SG.

“The award is called The Weak and the Poor Girls Award Collected and it’s a group of organisations with a common belief that Girls are agents of change.

“There were seven donors that actually contributed to this award and S.V.S.G is the only N.G.O from the South Pacific that was successfully awarded for this award.”

According to a release the “With and For Girls Awards” is a global initiative to identify and support strong local organisations working with and for girls. 

The charity – based in Apia, Samoa – is recognised for its work with survivors of violence and sexual abuse in Samoa, providing shelters and support for women and girls, in addition to educating community members on violence prevention.      

Around 46 per cent of Samoan women who have been in a relationship say they have experienced physical, sexual or emotional abuse by their partner, according to figures published by the United Nations. 

In a culture where family reputation is highly valued, women are reluctant to report crimes. As a result, victims of domestic violence find little support within their families, leaving them isolated and trapped in an abusive  environment. 

S.V.S.G. was set up by a young lawyer frustrated at the lack of support for victims of gender-based violence. She brought together former police officers and legal professionals to provide support and counselling for survivors. 

S.V.S.G. helps refer cases to the police and offers counselling to survivors in a private setting. Members of S.V.S.G. will also accompany survivors to court to ensure they have company during this scary and often intimidating process. 

The organisation also offers securedtemporary accommodation while it works on rehabilitation, recovery and reintegration. An alternative school system helps children who cannot read to transition into formal schooling. 

S.V.S.G. has reached over 25,000 people and is the only organisation of its kind in Samoa.

By Deidre Fanene 11 November 2016, 12:00AM

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