Microfinance body gives $10,000 to aid measles fight

By Vaelei Von Dincklage 20 December 2019, 7:00PM

SPBD Microfinance Samoa Limited has donated $10,000 to assist authorities tackle the measles epidemic.

Executives Luapene Lefau (General Manager),  Keiolani Samuelu (Finance Manager) and Wendy Joe (Compliance Manager) presented the $10,000 cheque on behalf of the microfinance organisation to the National Emergency Operation Center (NEOC) on Thursday.

Ministry of Health Director General, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, received the cheque on behalf of the NEOC Disaster Advisory Committee.

Mrs Lefau said their organisation has a membership of over 8,000 women and their checks found that 520 children of their women members contracted the deadly virus.

Out of the measles affected families, only five women confirmed that they lost their children to the epidemic, with the GM confirming that they will visit the families of their five women members who lost children.

“We will be visiting the families of these five women today so that we can give them our sympathy and something to help them with whatever they need.”

The first stop for the microfinance company’s team is Lauli’i where Faapaia Eti – who is the mother of three children and is a member of the microfinance program – resides. 

The other four women are Maima Fiu of Lalovi Mulifanua Centre, Simativa Leilua from Maagiagi 2K Centre, Vaoita Lolesio of Salani Fou Centre and Siana Lomitusi from Levi Saleimoa 2 Centre. 

The five women will receive $500 cash and basic supplies as food, though for the mother who lost her three children, her family will be given $1,500 cash as well as food. 

The resident and founder of SPBD network, Greg Casagrande, said in a statement that the organisation is moved by the tragic outcome of the measles epidemic. 

“In support of the government’s efforts, we are determined to play a role to help Samoa move positively forward through this national emergency. SPBD Microfinance will be taking three specific actions to help Samoa in this time of great need,” he said in the statement.

Mr Casagrande said their microfinance organisation will use their network to spread health education and government messages regarding best health practices to their 19,000-plus members in Samoa. 

On top of that the SPBD will provide condolence packages to its members, who in this crisis have already paid the greatest price, with the death of an immediate family member. 

“These condolence packages will be delivered prior to Christmas. SPBD is proud to support the government of Samoa’s NEOC Fund. Today SPBD Microfinance donates $10,000 to this fund,” he added. 

“May God continue to inspire the leadership of Samoa during this time of great national emergency so that they can help effectively lead Samoa quickly forward to the end of this terrible crisis. And may God continue to bless and protect all Samoans.”

By Vaelei Von Dincklage 20 December 2019, 7:00PM
Samoa Observer

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