B.G.W. scholarships recipients grateful

Two of the five Brown Girl Woke (B.G.W.) scholarship recipients for this year have expressed their gratitude to the not-for-profit group for the assistance they have been provided for their academic journey.

Vaimoli Tapelu and Kristariner Lee told the Samoa Observer of how the B.G.W. scholarship assistance will enable them to continue their education.

"The scholarship given to me has opened so many opportunities to pursue my goals and dreams in life and I am forever grateful to Maluseu Doris for it," said Miss Lee.

Miss Tapelu also expressed the same sentiment when expressing her appreciation to the group.

“This is my first time to receive a scholarship that would cover my school fees, and I am happy and grateful to the Director of B.G.W. for the opportunity," she added. 

The B.G.W. has a program called the After School Program, which is run in partnership with the 2018-2019 Miss Samoa, Sonia Piva. The program involves visiting schools in Samoa and assisting their students to learn about dancing, which is the area that Miss Tapelu has been assigned to.

Miss Lee, on the other hand, assists with the B.G.W. land rights project and is amongst the students who established the B.G.W. group at the University of the South Pacific.

She said the group are an organisation that provide safe places for young women and children, who are abused and thrown out from their homes and families, and also promote leadership and assisting Samoan communities in need.

“The group helps us keep track of what is happening to our community, not only in Samoa but overseas. For instance, the violence against women and children in the community, our Director Doris' first move was to address the issue and then help the kids because she loves kids," she said.

Miss Tapelu said being a member of B.G.W. and helping out is also something she wanted to do together with socializing with different people in different environments. 

Miss Tapelu joined the group in 2019 and she was able to learn a lot from the group but as for Miss Lee joining the group in 2018 has opened a new chapter for her life.

"I became an advocate as a young researcher in the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development and was fortunate to travel to different countries that I never dreamed of," she said.

She added that being in the B.G.W. and participating in the different activities has given them new perspectives on life.

“I learnt that I should never ignore the people that needs my help, never hide the talents that we have because I believe our talents can take us to the next level and make us rich."

For Miss Lee learning about women in leadership, the power of gender equality and the capabilities of women and men were important for her.

"It is very important to educate and to promote women to have rights over land because land creates a safe place for both women and children," she added.

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