A young woman studying at the National University of Samoa is traveling to the Big Apple.
Solivalealofiolenu’u Wilson, the daughter of the late Filoitumua Dick and Foluena Laina Wilson, of Sapapali’i, Safotu and Vaivase-tai, is heading to New York to attend the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (C.S.W.62).
It is the second time in two years that a Samoan young woman has been selected for sponsored participation in this annual conference.
The Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting and Economics students will take part in the conference to be guided by the theme: “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”.
Soli was selected from hundreds of applicants worldwide.
As part of a delegation of young women from across the world under the umbrella of the World Y.W.C.A, Soli is representing not only Y.W.C.A. Samoa but also her family and community that have been very strong supporters throughout her journey.
“I’d like to think that I am going, not only to participate, learn and build my network there, but to also represent my country, my amazing family, my mother, and Vaivase Tai E.F.K.S. Youth family,” she said.
“Most especially, my Y.W.C.A. sisters and the never ending efforts they have put into our Rise Up Programs and every single young woman who’s life was influenced through it. This is for you!”
Soli is an active member and an up and coming peer educator of the Y.W.C.A. of Samoa and will participate in the World Y.W.C.A. official launch of the Rise Up Training Manual in New York during the C.S.W.62.
The ‘Rise Up’ programme has reached over 200 young women.
It has helped to enhance their knowledge and understanding of common social global issues they are facing such as Violence Against Women and Girls, Climate Change, Leadership and Decision making, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Human Rights and Economic Empowerment.
Since it’s launching in 2016, the Rise Up Programme in Samoa has expanded extensively, to rural communities in Upolu and Savai’i, creating safe spaces to share, educate and encourage our girls to ‘Rise Up!’
“The programme creates a “safe space” for young women to discuss topics that are still considered taboo in our homes Churches and communities.
“I get words of encouragement and expand and enhance leadership skills as well as the satisfaction of being a part of something with a greater purpose,” Soli said.