International guests at the meeting welcomed in an Ava Ceremony
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 22 JANUARY 2019: The Initial Meeting for the 12 months project with the Centro Rural Joven Vida (CERUJOVI) Spain was officially opened today at the Travellers Point Hotel, Malifa.
The participants from India, Netherlands, Spain, Sri Lanka, Madagascar were welcomed by the host, Samoa Victim Support Group, through the traditional ava ceremony performed by the SVSG Juniors.
The opening of the Initial Meeting was well attended by representatives of SVSG’s partners from the Ministry of Women, Community & Social Development, the National Health Services, the Fire & Emergency Services Authority, the International Labour Organisation and Digicel Samoa.
Pastor Kurt Fatupaito of the Potters House Christian Church Vaitele officiated the opening with the Word of God, reminding the gathering about the men of God’s responsibilities to their families, their wives and their children, to live in peace and harmony, not violence.
As the lead organistion for the Project, Ms. Katarzyna (Kaska) Reyes Czechowicz acknowledged the support from SVSG in hosting the Initial Meeting. “Samoa Victim Support Group’s motto is ‘We Support; We Help; We Care, We are your family, and since we arrived, we felt like part of the SVSG family.”
Speaking on the project, Ms. Czechowicz reiterated on the importance of breaking the cycle of violence in our work to address violence against women while promoting gender equality, as per the Project: Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Men and Boys Engage to End Violence Against Women and to Promote Gender Equality.
The 12-months project includes the Initial Meeting in Samoa, a Seminar in India, a Study Tour in the Netherlands, a Training Program in Sri Lanka and the Global Youth Gathering in Spain.
For SVSG, to be a part of this multi-partnered project is an opportunity for its youth to be further empowered to stand up against violence towards women, engaging men and boys in breaking the cycle of violence.
The Initial Meeting is for five days from 21 – 25 January 2019.