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Children perform for Committee with message

Eighty students attending the St Peter Chanel Primary School performed a dance for the delegates of the 84th Extraordinary Session of the Committee of the Rights of the Child.

The performance on Thursday was a message from the youngsters to the United Nations human rights body that they support children’s rights.

Brown Girl Woke, a non-government organisation based in Apia, organised the participation of the students with the dance performance choreographed by local dance teacher Kieren Ah Sam.

Brown Girl Woke spokesperson, Victory Tuala-Tamalelagi, told Samoa Observer that getting the children to deliver their message to the delegates through their dance performance was the best platform to do it.

"The idea of our side event today is that we want to give out a message to the conference that we support children's rights. There is no better way to do it than bringing the very children,” he said. “And that is what we're trying to do today, bring them here and give out our positive and good message that we are here and support child's rights. The children here are from St Peter Chanel Primary which is located at Moamoa.”

The students performed to the song “Look up child” sung by American gospel singer and songwriter Lauren Ashley Daigle. 

According to Mr Ah Sam, Brown Girl Woke has different sections of the organisation that perform different functions including performing arts such as dancing.

“This faction is an after school program faction so this is going into performance arts. We use performance arts as an instrument to share our message. St Peter Chanel is not the only school in our after school program, we have another school which is Mulivai Primary. What we aim for this year is to get at least three schools."

He said the overall goal of Brown Girl Woke is to empower youngsters to know their rights to say no and to choose what they want to be in life.

"In this faction we have three dancers and they are certified dancers so far Brown Girl Woke aims to spark a little idea in the minds of the kids, telling them that they have the right to say no and they have the right to choose what they want and who they want to be in life, without having to be pressured by culture, society and family."

St Peter Chanel Primary School Principal, Tepora Tu'i, was ecstatic with the participation of her students in the United Nations human rights conference and expressed her gratitude to Brown Girl Woke as they only had one week to prepare.

"The children did really well because they only had four sessions of practice and they were only an hour so its about four hours of practice and they only had one week to prepare," she said. "Brown Girl Woke promoted their stance in helping children in dance so they approached our school and we took on the program to develop dance and that's why we accepted to have them. They do an after school program which the children and their parents started to participate in.”

According to the Principal, a total of 80 children participated in the after-school program with the youngest from Year 4 and about seven years of age. 

When asked by Samoa Observer if she would recommend other schools participate in Brown Girl Woke’s after-school program, she said: "Yeah, definitely, the children really enjoyed the program. They felt it was non-threatening, they were motivated and they all enjoyed it because the instructors were great. I would like to thank Doris Tulifau who founded Brown Girl Woke and I thank them for choosing our school and allowing us to come to this event and showcase the school itself."

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