Samoa village leaders complete gender based violence response training

A total of 160 village representatives in Samoa have completed training on how to respond effectively and efficiently to cases of gender based violence (GBV) in the community.

After four sets of two-day trainings, the village leaders, registered as representatives of the Samoa Victim Support Group in village communities, have improved understanding and knowledge on the importance of their roles as first respondents in cases of GBV.

The last group of trainees comprised of elderly high chiefs (both male and female) with the eldest being 82 years old.

As such, the wealth of traditional knowledge and the respect afforded to them within the village councils of their respective communities, are the added value they each brought to the learning table.

Their know-how on processing cases from the villages to SVSG onto the Police have been impressive. How they have challenged the co-trainers from the Police Domestic Violence Unit and the SVSG Community Division through the presentation of different scenario of GBV matters, speaks volume of the commitment from these village leaders to become better respondents

Culminating the theoretical learning was the visit by the village representatives to the Campus of Hope shelter facilities for the abused women and children. It was there at the Campus that the reality of the village leaders work was put to the test, when they came face to face with the victims of GBV, some of whom, they have assisted with their cases.

It was an emotional networking, as the leaders spoke to the childen as parents; feeling their pain and suffering together, as a family. The importance of a child in a family, as “God’s gift to the parents” was reiterated time and time again during this activity with the children a statement said.

And the SVSG village representative from Tanumalala, Maifala Faumuina perfectly sums up the village leaders work for the people of Samoa during the visit with the children, “this is a work from the heart”, “o lenei galuega, o le galuega e fai mai le fatu.”

SVSG President, Siliniu Lina Chang confirmed that, “the training was facilitated by SVSG personnel with special presentations from the Police Domestic Violence Unit. SVSG is appreciative of the Samoa Gender Partnership Program, funded by the Commonwealth of Australia as represented by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, for the opportunity to upskill the leading SVSG village representatives to carry out their tautua (service) from the heart.”


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