Ten chosen for Spotlight Samoa group

Ten Samoans with gender equality and women empowerment knowledge have been appointed to serve as members of Civil Society Organisation - National Reference Group (C.S.O. - N.R.G.) for the Spotlight Samoa Initiative.

The chosen individuals attended an induction training held at Saletoga Resort recently.

UN Residents Coordinator for the Multi-Country Office for the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau, Dr. Simona Marinescu, participated the training virtually from New York congratulated the individuals for their continuous commitment in the Spotlight Initiative Samoa Programme. 

They were also congratulated by the European Union Spotlight Initiative Team leader based in Fiji, Ms Ingrid Swinnen, also through a virtual connection.

She had commended the UN agencies for facilitating such training to familiarise the selected members with the Spotlight Initiative and expectations regarding their roles. 

The selected CSO - NRG members are affiliated with community programmes and life-changing outreaches and joining the CSO-NRG will develop opportunities that will benefit everyone, especially those who are vulnerable, poor, marginalized and are not accessible. 

The Induction Training was jointly coordinated and facilitated by the United Nations Resident Coordinators Office with the UN Women as the Technical Lead Agency for the Spotlight Initiative, and the support of the UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA and UNESCO.

The ten members of the CSO-NRG are;

1. Lemau Palaamo – President of Soul Talk Samoa – Pastoral Counselling agency

2. Helen Tanielu – Academia and Researcher, Data Analyst on Ending Violence against Women and Girls (EVAWG)

3. Mataafa Faatino Utumapu - General Manager for the core Advocacy organization for Persons with Disabilities, Nuanua o le Alofa (NOLA) and a woman with a disability in Samoa. 

4. Samuel Fruean - Operational/ Administration/Finance expertise at Samoa Victim Support Group

5. Dr. Walter Vermeulen - Executive Director of Matuaileo’o Environment Trust Inc (METI) & Coordinator of the Samoa Education Network (SEN)

6. Fagalima Tuatagaloa - Founding member and Vice President of the Samoa Fa’afafine Association/SOGIESC Activist

7. Fuatino Pamela Sua - Secretary General - Samoa National Council of Women (SNCW)

8. Gabrielle Apelu - Founder of Apelu Sports providing consulting services in Gender Equity, Sports, Health, Education, Leadership, Inclusion and Environment

9. Lualua Namulauulu Tautu - Mayor and Village Council Member of Asaga village (Savaii)

10. Taimalelagi Ramona Tugaga - Accredited Gender Based Violence Counsellor - Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre


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