Non-profit group continues with anti-bullying awareness

Non-profit group Brown Girl Woke continues its anti-bullying project for schools despite challenges brought on by state of emergency [S.O.E.] restrictions.

Another workshop was held last Friday by the B.G.W., according to the group’s founder and director Maluseu Doris Tulifau.

She said their workshops have been running in schools for two years straight which focused on programs promoting empowerment, empathy and making sure students have safe spaces and people they can go to. 

Last year the B.G.W. collaborated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [L.D.S.] Pesega College and did a presentation for a senior class.

Letters have also been written to school principles on their anti-bullying program. However, due to the S.O.E. restrictions, the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture has directed that no external programs are delivered in schools during the restricted period.

Maluseu said bullying in schools in Samoa is a big problem as seen on social media with students making videos of themselves beating girls or boys in the bathrooms.

In the letters that were written to the principals, they were alerted to solutions that could be used to address bullying.

"We discuss having a safe committee with their staff. Having us liaison with that person. Work with prefects on leadership skills to help identify kids that might be bullied and bullies. A lot of times we don’t know if kids are bullying or it’s rough play," Maluseu said.

"We went over that bullying isn’t don’t by one person, there's always someone that bystanders, friends of both parties so bullying has to be a whole community project. We’re the school, parents, staff, and outside organisations like B.G.W. come together to make an action plan."

The plan of action put forward by the non-profit includes training teen mentors, recruiting younger students for the bullying prevention group, and working with an adult facilitator to coordinate with schools and school principals on setting up a after school agreement.

Maluseu said there should be an effort to make our children feel safe to speak in spaces that could be motivating and shaping our young leaders.  

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