PHOTO: The young women attending the GLOW Samoa Conference at Leauva’a this week
APIA, SAMOA – FRIDAY 05 OCTOBER 2918: 200 Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) are at the Infant Jesus Hall, Leauva’a village for the four-day annual GLOW Conference that ends tomorrow. The conference that started Wednesday is the largest of its kind and has a nationwide reach.
GLOW has become one of the most common and recognizable Peace Corps activities throughout the world. GLOW Samoa emphasizes on long term female leadership engagement at all levels of society.
The initiative focuses on leadership development for girls aged 10 to 15 and on capacity building for village women leaders between the ages 23 and 55. In the last seven years, GLOW Samoa has reached over 70 rural villages through clubs, camps, and conferences. Activities are held weekly at the community level and annually at the national level.
Empowerment for emerging young women leaders
The present gathering invited current and emerging women from 23 villages in Upolu and Savai’i. Events teach girls and women life and leadership skills, build self-esteem, encourage intellectual development, promote women health, inspire the attainment of dreams, and provide networking opportunities as they progress along their education and job paths.
A statement from the group says “Empowerment blooms from guided discussion and reflection on a variety of presentations by speakers.”
Karen Anaya, the Sustainability and Public Relations Chair for GLOW Samoa, stated her enthusiasm about the conference, “We are extremely excited about this years’ event, which I am sure will be filled with ever lasting memories and leave a life-long positive impact in the lives of all attendees. This event was planned with every Samoan girl and woman in mind, so that they can reach their full potential and play vital roles in the prosperity of their families, communities, their country, and the world.”
The conference was opened by the newly crowned Miss Samoa, Sonia Piva, who motivated the girls to work hard and follow their dreams. The long list of presenters include Petronila Malio’o Mataeliga, Tofilau Fiti Laung Wai, Ramona Tugaga, Josephine Stowers Fiu, Ronna Lee, Cherelle Jackson, Doris Tulifau, Angelica Salele, Papali’i Mele Maualaivao (UN Women) and representatives from Samoa Red Cross, Samoa Family Health, MANA Care Products, and Samoa Judo.
Explore tertiary education opportunities
The participants also visited the National University of Samoa and the Australia Pacific Technical College to explore possibilities in tertiary education. Women leaders will complete a GLOW Club training session that prepares them to establish, develop, and maintain GLOW Clubs in their communities. They will receive GLOW Handbooks in English and Samoan to assist in this regard printed through a generous donation by SABB.
The conference is scheduled to conclude October 6 with remarks by Deputy Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa.
The event is implemented by GLOW Samoa, and brought together through a partnership with Young Women Christian Association and the support of Women in Leadership in Samoa (WILS), which is a joint program by United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) funded by the Government of Samoa in partnership with the Government of Australia.