A campaign to end discrimination, stigmatization and gender based violence is the theme of this year’s fa’afafine week.
The Samoa Fa’afafine Association (S.F.A.) opened its 5th Annual Fa’afafine week initiative with a service at the Immaculate Conception of Mary Cathedral, Mulivai yesterday.
President of S.F.A., Alex Su’a, said that it is important to officially open their one-week programme with a spiritual service, as it is part of Samoan culture to always start a program with a prayer.
“The one week programme officially starts Monday this week which has been allocated together with Tuesday for trainings out in the district hospitals of Falealili and Lalomanu.
“The training has been prepared by S.F.A. to focus on materials to train health care professionals on how to accommodate and deal with issues of a fa’afafine and faafatama.
“It is because there is no other organization that provides that service for us hence the reason why we have come up with this initiative,” Su’a said.
The training will ensure health care professionals are aware of the issues and have a procedure, added Su’a.
“On Wednesday we will conduct a media dialogue starting with editors for newspapers and television stations.
“We will try to engage with the media on how to accurately and properly report on S.F.A. issues and particularly on those who are fa’afafine and faafatama.
“Thursday and Friday will be the actual forum, which is our main activity to discuss varieties of topics, where we will have experts and leaders of our community speaking on issues that our community need to be aware off,” Su’a said in an interview with Samoa Observer.
The community of fa’afafine and faafatama will also be alerted to services offered to them by organisations such as the Samoa Victim Support Group and Red Cross Samoa Health Association
“Due to the fact that not all of them are aware of such services available free of charge and also where about at the police station to lodge a complaint for any issues,” added Su’a.
This Saturday the Fa’afafine Industry Variety Awards will be convened where the contribution of fa'afafine along with allies and partners—who have continued to support fa’afafine and uphold human rights—will be recognised and awarded.
Next Monday a community inquiry report on gender-based violence will be launched by the S.F.A.