ADVERTISEMENT

Life changing experience for child vendors

It was a new day and a new beginning for five child vendors who are now attending school for the first time in their lives, thanks to the generosity of their sponsors.

At the Vaigaga Primary School, three children ages 7; and two children ages 8 and 9 became part of the Year 3 and Year 4 classes respectively, as they eagerly anticipated their lives as children in a classroom.  

From the school Principal’s perspective, the children have been allocated to their classes according to their ages to avoid any awkwardness if they are placed in Year 1, given that they have never been to school before.  

The school however, will pay close attention to their academic needs as they slowly go through their learning experience.

According to the S.V.S.G. Junior Vice President Franziska Sione, who coordinated the enrolment and the children’s first day at school, “there was an excitement amongst the children as they held hands going into their classrooms.  At one time, one of our young scholarship recipients cried for her mother and the other 2 in the same class with her both started to cry.”

The five out of twelve children were identified in the outcome assessment of the Buddy Up Program implemented by Samoa Victim Support Group with funding support from the International Labour Organisation in January this year. The Program targeted child vendors buddying up with youth members of the S.V.S.G. Juniors, in an effort to get the child vendors out of the streets and back to school.  

Thirty child vendors partnered up with youths during the Program.

While Faustina Aperaamo earlier secured a scholarship courtesy of Eli and Wyndi Tagi of New Zealand and is now attending Vaigaga Primary School, the two of the additional scholars have their education sponsored by the TACT of New Zealand thanks to the generosity of Levaoatuamaaana Aati-Schuster and her Team.  The other three scholars have been sponsored by an anonymous local donor.

There are six more children eligible for primary education still awaiting sponsorship to be enrolled in school.  

If you would like to make a difference in the lives of these children, please call S.V.S.G. on telephone 25392 or email [email protected] for more information.  The scholarship covers obtaining birth certificates for enrolment, school fees and uniforms for each child per year.

Related Stories


samoa

College hosts Samoan language week

Samoa College will mark its inaugural Samoan language week in a bid to draw its students’ attention to the country’s cultural practices and customs. College Principal Karene Faasisila, Vice Principal and staff are behind the week-long program of activities that also include the ava ceremony and cultural formalities (folafola sua, folafola toana’i, folafolaga saumolia, sula toga). According to Taumaloto Kaisa, who is a teacher at Samoa College, the program involves the whole school and doesn’t just target the teaching staff. "The college’s principal, Karene Faasisila, vice-principal and staff have initiated a Samoan Week activity not only to end off another academic term but also to highlight the importance of Samoan practices to the students," he told Samoa Observer in an interview. "The program isn’t only for the teachers teaching Samoa or is limited to students who only take Samoa. It involves the whole school with the aim of emphasising Samoan cultural practices because we have seen that some students haven’t experienced most of our practices." The week-long program this week comprises five main categories of activities that will run until Thursday. Category 1 activities highlight the importance of Samoan literacy through speech competitions, impromptu speech competitions, spelling competitions and debates. Category 2 focuses on cultural formalities such as the ava ceremony and others (folafola sua, folafola toana’i, folafolaga saumolia, sula toga) and Category 3 is Samoan sports and games such as cricket, collecting coconuts and weaving baskets. Mr Kaisa said it is important students experience and participate in Samoan sports and games in order to find out more about their origins. "The importance of students experiencing these sports is because there are a few Samoan statements that derive from Samoan games which are incorporated in speeches and formalities,” he added. "It’s important that the students experience these sports so that they’ll know where these statements come from and what it practically means. "The fourth category is a demonstration of handcrafting, weaving and printing. Students are taught on how to weave various Samoan crafts (ma’ilo, polavai, polasisi)." Students would learn the art of weaving an ietoga (Samoan traditional fine mat) and instead of tapa-making, consequently Mr Kaisa said the college had found it difficult locating an expert in that area who could teach the students which is why the elei printing activity was added. All the four categories will be implemented Monday to Thursday before the staff and student body converge on the college hall on Friday where there will be traditional performances with classes competing against each other.

HS
By Hyunsook Siutaia 30/09/2020
ADVERTISEMENT
Bg pattern top

Sign in for free to read more stories

Bg pattern light

UPGRADE TO PREMIUM

Subscribe to Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device as well as feature-length investigative articles.

Ready to signup?