PR - On 25th November 2017 the Saoao ma Tamaitai Fagalii Village Led Aiga Saogalemu Samoa Manuia Livelihood Expo Programme was implemented and led by the Government Woman Representative.
This coincided with the launch of 16 Days of Activism/ National Week for Persons with Disabilities.
The objectives of the Expo were to;
(i) to raise the awareness of the Fagalii community on the types of family violence, and impacts on women, children and persons with disabilities.
(ii) to mobilize collective village action towards prevention to STOP Violence Before it begins.
Strong messages that came through the Expo; perpetrators of domestic violence usually like to wield their power and control through economic factors (limiting the victim’s access to funds in order to cut them off from others) as well as social isolation.
Therefore, the different activities during the Expo aimed at: eliminate the contributing factors – such as teaching women and the youth practical activities like making handicrafts and elei as a form of income generation so that they do not have to rely on others.
The Expo is a forum to create new relationships and strengthen network amongst the women peers themselves so that if they have any problems, they will have someone they can confide in.
The children held a Poster competition describing children’s voice in families to help prevent violence against mothers, children, people with disabilities.
The Poem competition focused on the Village working together in preventing violence. The SENESE school performed a skit about a disabled youth who was chased away from her family and ostracized by her community because of her disability.
Senese says that we must work together as a community to support people with disabilities – for people not to abuse their authority, but to promote equal opportunities for all people – whether disabled or not. People with disabilities can also work, go to school, play sport and others.
The program was well attended by 51 males and 47 females including 22 persons with disabilities. This is the first initiative to address prevention of family violence through economic empowerment for Fagali’i.
The Sui o le Nuu of Fagali’i stated that they will have meetings every fortnight as part of their own educational programmes inviting different speakers to share information on ways the village can assist with prevention and response to violence.
The village Led Expo Programme is supported through partnership between the Ministry of Women, Communityand Social Development and Government of Australia – Samoa Women Shaping Development programme.