PHOTO: Some of Samoa’s child vendors
APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 24 APRIL 2019: A bowl of hot soup provided during training is a mentality change strategy to address the low self-esteem of the child vendors under training with the Samoa Victim Support Group.
“It is to instill in the children’s minds that in building up their skills, they will never go hungry again,” according to the Samoa Victim Support Group.
This rationale has resulted in the program referred to as the “Hot Soup” Skill Building Training.
The program is coordinated by the Samoa Victim Support Group with funding support from the US Embassy of Samoa.
It is SVSG’s contribution to address the growing child vendor problem in Samoa.
“Eight months now into the program, we have seen transformation in progress; a total of 10 students who attended the program in 2018 are now enrolled for the first time in the mainstream education; more and more child vendors age 12 – 14 are interested in the program and have enrolled this year.
“When the U.S Ambassador Scott Brown & his good lady visited the Hot Soup program last month, the students proudly showcased their work of art much to the Ambassador’s amazement.
“In a comfortable learning environment where the children are not looked down at for their inability to read and write, the child vendors turned artist or carpenter are being economically and socially empowered.
“This is not Post School Education and Training (PSET), but rather, livelihood and soft skills training under the Hot Soup Skill Building program so that in the end, the children will never go hungry again,” said SVSG.