The fourth and final cohort of leading SVSG village representatives, trained on how to respond effectively and efficiently to cases of gender-based violence (GBV) in the community, have completed for Upolu.
After four sets of 2-days training, a total of 160 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.
This is according to a statement issued by the SVSG.
The last group of trainees comprised of elderly high chiefs (both male and female). The eldest is 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 facililties 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.
“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.”
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.”