The work of 14-year-old Quenjule Slaven through her Community Outreach Programme in assisting young street vendors was recognised by the International Labour Organization (I.L.O.) yesterday.
Ms. Slaven, from Moamoa, is a Year-13 student at St. Mary’s College.
“An award befitting to this passionate young lady that volunteers her time to help the Street Vendors in Apia town area,” said I.L.O Coordinator Tomasi Peni.
“She is the founder of the after-school reading and Maths programme at the public library for child vendors who do not attend school for financial reasons."
“And currently up to 40 young people including students from schools take part in this programme.”
A short video of Slaven talking about her volunteer work, played as she made her way to receive her award presented by Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labor Chief Executive Officer, Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling.
Ms. Slaven volunteers her time in the Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays where she helps young street vendors and students learn how to read and work math problems.
“I hope that this program will influence the youth of this generation to help the young children who are unable to attend school due to financial issues."
“And I also hope that similar programs will be launched to help promote and end child labour."
“The work my family and I do is to enable the street vendors to read and learn; just basic education and these are efforts to help them with what they do on the daily basis,” she said.
Last year she was the recipient of the prestigious fellowships by the Sir Peter Blake Trust in New Zealand to take part in the Sir Peter Blake Youth EnviroLeader Forum (YELF) in New Zealand.
She is an award-winning story writer; a ‘Newspapers in Education’ columnist for the Samoa Observer; has won regional poster competitions and was selected by her school to be an ambassador for Samoa Stationery and Books.