As the parents and the adolescents of Fasitoo-uta reached Module 4 of a community prevention program to end violence against children, there continues to be a positive influence on the attitude and mentality change towards child protection.
In a statement issued by the Samoa Victim Support Group says self-reflection from the parents on the improvement in their relationships with their children and being in tune with how their children think and feel, speaks of an informed community.
One of the parents at the Fasitoo-uta Module 4 session, Faletulutulu Ameti said being a sensitive parent and responding to your child’s need cuts across all areas of parenting.
He recalled that some of our rooted beliefs which shaped how we care for the children include refraining from carrying your baby most of the time as they will end up being “cry babies”.
Faletutulu said lessons from the program that a parent-child relationship establishes an understanding of what your child needs at the moment, and provides that in an effective way.
“For instance, holding your baby lovingly and responding to their cries, helps build a strong bond, warmth, and care. And here we are doing the opposite.”
The adolescents on the other hand continued to build on their life skills, and in Module 4, the discussion had reached drugs and alcohol and their association with risky behavior and peer pressure.
For the Fasitoo-uta adolescents, there was no easy way around understanding what alcohol and drugs are, and their impact on one’s brain and body, besides sharing on what they know. It not only helps them become more aware of the existence of drugs in Samoa and what they look like, but most importantly, to be able to reject it, if forced upon them due to peer pressure.
The community prevention program for the protection of children in Samoa, is part of a continuing partnership between SVSG and the UNICEF Pacific since 2015.
The seven communities piloted for the 2021-2022 community prevention program are Toamua, Fasitoo-uta, Fagalii, Luatuanuu, Solosolo, Siumu and Samalaeulu in Savaii.