It is that time of the year where parents are rewarded for being parents, as the children bring home a certificate, a trophy or a prize for their academic achievements.
During the Prize Giving celebration at the School of Hope this week, the SVSG Board, Executive, staff, volunteers and supporters are rewarded as the carers, guardians and parents of close to 200 children survivors of violence and sexual abuse that have been educated at the School this year.
For majority of these children, they have been abused from within their homes.
The prize giving is therefore not so much a recognition of the children’s academic achievement, but more of their self-determination which shine through their resilience. This is because as abused, disabled, neglected, and in some cases, pregnant children, they have been battling their education twice as hard as the children attending the mainstream education, because of the emotional trauma associated with their experiences.
192 is an increase of 43% in the number of children attending the School of Hope in 2016, compared to 134 recorded for 2015. These are children that have been enrolled at the school not by choice, but due to the circumstances of the crimes committed against them. Sadly for SVSG, this translates to an increase in the number of children survivors of violence and sexual abuse from the community requiring shelter care for their safety.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture, Afamasaga Dr. Karoline Afamasaga-Fuatai gave the keynote address, acknowledging the special characteristic of the School of Hope.
The supporting community once again rallied behind the celebration of the children’s achievement through monetary and prize donations. Thank you Aumua Ming & Fiti Leung Wai of the Samoa Stationery & Books for the magnificent trophies, Penitito & Genevieve Pupi of Mercy Shop for the colorful gift prizes, Jerry & Charlotte Brunt of Orators Hotel, and Molioo Pio & Anarosa Molioo of Western Union, for each donating $200 and Afamasaga Opeta Siilata and staff of Federal Pacific Finance for $300 donation.
To the government through MESC, thank you for continuing to finance the salaries of the teaching staff and livelihood skill trainers at the School of Hope. Last but not the least, SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang on behalf of the Patron and the Board, acknowledges with gratitude the volunteering support of individuals and church groups who spent time reading, playing and counseling the children survivors of violence educated at the School of Hope.