Outreach for 20 grief-stricken families
Families still coming to grips with the loss of their children received food, clothing and counselling support from a national measles donation drive rolled out by the Samoa Victim Support Group (S.V.S.G.) during the measles shutdown.
A Vaiusu family who lost a three-year-old were among the beneficiaries of the “S.V.S.G. Measles Prevention and Helping Hand Outreach”. Three other families from the same village were also assisted. Altogether the programme comprised of 25 children and 13 adults; 5 of the adults being S.V.S.G.’s village representatives for Vaiusu.
According to a statement from S.V.S.G. the outreach found the parents of the three-year old who had passed away was still in shock.
“A new grave is erected in front of the family home, it is obvious that the parents are going progressing through the denial stage,” stated an S.V.S.G. statement.
The outreach campaign also assisted underprivileged families living further inland from Leauvaa.
Out of the seven families visited, two have lost three children to the measles; another mother-of-four, months into her latest pregnancy was robbed of an unborn child and a 12-month-old and an 18-months-old were also taken .
“There is a feeling of hopelessness within each of the households; the elderly grandparents continued praying for that much needed spiritual calmness," the statement said.
“The young parents of the measles victims seemed all so lost; while the remaining children clung to the photos of their loved ones as they struggled to make sense of all the chaos.”
Nineteen-year-old Noella Fa’atauu’u, seven months into her pregnancy told S.V.S.G. in tears of the bond that has been severed because of the passing of her 12-months old daughter Noel, whose life was claimed by the measles virus on 18 November 2019.
Another pregnant mother, 23-year-old Taumaia Lio Willie, lost her baby on 30 November 2019 and found the reality difficult to confront. She was found still in bed, surrounded by her daughters while her husband is remaining strong for the family.
A total of 10 families were assisted by the outreach at Leauvaa: 24 adults and 32 children.
From the total of 56 people covered by the outreach, eight have been vaccinated including three children.
Those not yet vaccinated were referred to the Disease Survelliance Team.
So far, the outreach has assisted 24 families: 10 families in Laulii, four in Vaiusu, and ten in Leauvaa comprised of 58 adults and 94 children ages new born to 18 years of age.
S.V.S.G. President, Siliniu Lina Chang acknowledged the compassion shown by teir S.V.S.G. village representatives: Lini Toomata, Aitilotilo Henry and Laumata Crawley, Fala’i and Telesia Lupeni.
S.V.S.G. also thanked donors: SVSG Melbourne,Toleafoa Elon Betham, staff of the CMN Company Limited, Fexco Samoa, Dress a Girl Around the World, Lend a Hand of Seattle Washington courtesy of the Taito Family Ministry.