Businesses rally behind victims of abuse

Local companies have supported victims of violence and abuse at the Campus of Hope under the care of the Samoa Victim Support Group (S.V.S.G.).

The children at the campus were invited to perform at one of the side-events during the 84th Session of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (C.R.C.) at Taumeasina Island Resort on Friday.

Due to the children’s performance at the conference, the business community rallied to show their support.

Companies that wore yellow shirts include: Pacific Forum Line (P.F.L.); Le Alaimoana Hotel; Kramer Ausenco; CCK Samoa; Moana Rentals, Taumeasina Island Resort, Maota o Samoa Petrol Services; Origin Gas; Pacific Ezy Money; Western Union; Golf Course.

Teuila Eteuati, who is the Agency Manager of P.F.L. Group, she said that more than 20 staff members including her wore the yellow t-shirts to show their support.

“We support the S.V.S.G. programme in terms of the rights of the children’s convention,” she said. “It is all about the rights of the children and their rights to a good life.”

A representative of Kramer Ausenco and Le Alaimoana Hotel, Toleafoa Mara Hunter said that they support the Rights of the Child Campaign.

“It is particularly Samoa Victim Support Group's dedication to protecting, providing for and advocating and speaking up for our children in need. It has certainly brightened up our day," she added. “How we treat our children today affects us all tomorrow, the wellbeing of our families and our villages, law and order and productivity of our country.

“We wanted to show that we care and a simple act of wearing happy-yellow means that we care and want to show it, to our children, particularly the ones at House of Hope.”

She said it is her and her staff's hope that children can have a chance to experience a happy childhood, food and shelter, love and protection, an education and a future to work and become good citizens for Samoa.

To date, there are more than 80 abused and abandoned children are currently sheltered at the Campus of Hope.

S.V.S.G. was set up with a vision to ensure that victims of crimes and those in need are well supported to be safe and in control of restoring their lives through quality service,” according to S.V.S.G. President, Siliniu Lina Chang.

She added that to date S.V.S.G. continues to aspire towards achieving this vision above and beyond the call for action and it is a service from the heart.

“This is due to the fact that it is a service beyond the provision of shelter, clothing and food for the rescued children,” she said. "It is a service inclusive of the rehabilitation and restoration processes for each child. It is from dealing with the mental health of a girl child impregnate from a sexual abuse experience, to the wellbeing of a girl child attempting to abort a pregnancy from the same.”

There are also newborn babies with health complications from attempted abortion which required 24-hour care at the hospital. 

The S.V.S.G. President said the intergenerational effect of trauma on the young girls is one of the risks they face, and through the young girls experience as child violence survivors, their pathways in life are non-existent. 

“These are some of the ugliest effects of children’s rights violation that grows darker by the day, yet as a child protection agency, we deal with these on a daily basis," she added. “And as survivors, we have seen some of them become child rights advocates themselves."

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