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ASOA and NEG work together to survey senior needs

The non-profit group, the American Samoa Organization on Aging (ASOA) is at this time conducting a comprehensive survey of seniors on island (60 years and older) that started this past Tuesday, in an attempt to be able to better serve their needs, according to ASOA Secretary/Treasurer Marilyn AhChing.

“ASOA has workers from the National Emergency Grant who will be conducting a survey in the bay area, from Aua to Faga’alu during the next three months, so people in that area can be expecting to see the ASOA surveyors in the upcoming weeks,” said AhChing.  “There have been partial surveys done, but no one knows exactly how many seniors there are and what their needs are,” she said.

AhChing would also like the public to know that the ASOA is in the process of having a basic sewing class, thanks to the USDA at Land Grant and those who are planning to participate are very excited about learning to make their own clothes.

“ASOA has also changed its second meeting of the month, held on the fourth Tuesday, from 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., to accommodate those who work and others who are unable to attend during the day. The meeting held on the second Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. will continue at that time,” said AhChing. For more information on the survey or the ASOA group, you can contact AhChing at 699-1131, 770-4432 or 699-4432.

When the organization first formed in 2009, they were meeting at the AP Lutali Senior Center in Pago Pago and some of the activities planned by the group included diverse education and training sessions for the seniors, with interests as varied as electrical wiring, health and fitness programs, cultural and inter-generational initiatives involving seniors and their grandchildren, along with agricultural projects and classes to teach computer skills.

One of their more recent activities at their current office, which is located on Tasi Street, across from the Lyons Park in the Tafuna Housing area, was when they held a Senior Mentoring Youth Program last summer for the children ages 7-12, where children were taught about the Fa’a Samoa, the Samoan language, Samoan siva, mat weaving and ukulele playing.

The children of the Summer Youth Program were taught by the seniors of ASOA and other volunteers. At the time of the Summer Youth Program, ASOA Chairman Mike Hemphill told Samoa News that the territory’s senior citizens “have so much to teach us.”