More than 100 abandoned children under Samoa Victims care
Apia, SAMOA — Abandoning children is not new in Samoa as evident in the number currently under the care of the Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG) at the House of Hope at Tuana’imato.
Since SVSG’s inception in 2009, more than 100 abandoned children have been under their care. With the upswing and focus on abandoned babies in the last four weeks, SVSG reminded Samoa, especially young mothers and young women with unwanted pregnancies, that there is a service and place available for their children.
Fronting the press conference this week were SVSG Board Chairperson, Georgina Newton, Mulipola Anarosa Molio’o and Sam Fruean.
“There are various reasons for abandoning children, but we do not question or judge as our role is to take care for these children,” said Fruean.
The children SVSG have been looking after are from newborn babies to ten years old.
“One of the main reasons is the financial situation in families that creates difficulties in raising and caring for children,” said Sam Fruean.
There are cases that remain a mystery to date as the babies were just left at their doorstep or a member of the public brought them in without any information about the child.
Some of these children have been reclaimed by their families and some have been adopted out and the rest are still at the House of Hope.
SAVING LIVES CAMPAIGN
SVSG also launched the Saving Lives Campaign and the message was that SVSG’s door and HELPLINE 800-7874 are open 24 hours 7 days a week.
“We are here to help and we also call on the community, church and youth leaders, teachers to share information about SVSG,” said Georgina Newton.
“Our message is to let your arm be someone else’s blessing, don’t let go of your baby just because you are scared or worried about the stigma that would be attached to you. We are here to help you and if you can’t take care of your baby, we can do it for you,” said Newton.
CULTURE NEEDS TO ADAPT AND BE LENIENT
Some aspects of Samoan culture have been noted to contribute to babies being abandoned and creating other problems.
According to Mulipola Anarosa Molio’o, Samoan culture is unique, but there are times when families go to the extreme to hide the truth from the Village Council because they fear the heavy penalties the Council imposes under village by-laws.