Campaign brings victims to Hope

More than 20 young victims of violence will receive treatment, supplies and counselling at the Samoa Victims Support Group's Campus of Hope, after they were referred through the group's "Positive Moment" campaign for speaking up against violence. 

The campaign’s youth ambassador, Leilua Lino, in an interview with the Samoa Observer revealed the success of the campaign in bringing new referrals to the Campus that caters for children who have been victims of abuse.

Ms. Lino was a 2018 International Children’s Peace Prize award finalist. She also met Prince Harry at the Marlborough House in London earlier this year where she was among 14 other innovators in international development who received a trophy, certificate and £2,000 (T$6,743).

The 19-year-old is determined to take her campaign across Samoa with the hope to help anyone who is facing difficulties to speak out against both violent and sexual abuse in families.

“My goal is to help others voice out their pain and suffering so that they will not be tormented much longer and especially stop them from resorting to suicide,” she said.

She stated that her campaign has reached more than 20 schools both primary and colleges in Upolu and Savaii in sharing her story.

“My campaign has enabled a lot of victims to speak up about the struggles they face, especially violence within families," she said. 

“I want the children to understand that there is hope for them and that there is someone out there that will help save them because no child should grow up in a violent and unsafe environment.

“In other cases the children run away from their homes and get into all sorts of trouble.”

Ms. Lino added that so many children relate to her story because she went through the same thing that they went through.

“I have faced my own problems and overcame them but I want them to do the same.

“It is because keeping things bottled up will not be helpful it causes stress and others problems.

“I went through the same thing and I wished someone told me that they could help me but I am glad that I found help through S.V.S.G.”

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