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UNICEF Pacific Chief Observes Community Child Prevention Program at Luatuanuu

Press Release/Photos Supplied

14 SEPTEMBER 2022: The UNICEF Pacific Chief of Child Protection, Julie Gill field visit while in Samoa last week was a day to observe the positive discipline and life skills workshops with parents and adolescents at Luatuanuu village.

Luatuanuu, is one of the seven villages piloted for the community prevention program with UNICEF.

The topic for Module 6 for parents related to: Responding With Positive Discipline, which was a perfect wrap up of 2-years of learning on Positive Discipline Parenting under the community prevention program by UNICEF Pacific and Samoa Victim Support Group.

The parents were reminded of the lessons learnt from the previous modules, as they shared on their ongoing progress in building their relationship with their children.

The Module 6 for adolescents related to: Online Safety, focusing on Cyber Bullying, and how the adolescents can prevent and respond to bullying that occurs on social media.

The parents reflected on the improvement in their relationships with their children, spoke of an informed community. This was evident from the parents being receptive to the messages that were delivered, and their responses during the session.

Luatuanuu children

Luatuanuu children

One mother admitted that she is someone who often yells at her children when they are rebellious, and she notices that yelling and nagging will only frustrate her children, but ever since joining the Positive Discipline program, she now has learned to commission her youngsters with empathy, providing them with warmth and structure and also understanding how they think and feel.

Another mother shared that from her own experience, allowing a child to do many chores can be a burden to them. What she has learnt from the program is to at least give her children time to rest, have fun, as the children need to be themselves sometimes.

The only father among the participants, shared that he now understands the different behaviours of children nowadays. He shared that some of his children are always on their phones, and this irritates him as it distracts them from doing their daily chores and school work.

On the other hand, adolescents were introduced to online bullying. Since most adolescents spend most of their time online, and have been spending most of their education online since the lockdown, the topic ‘Cyber Bullying’ was discussed. Most of the participants were not familiar with the term ‘Cyber Bullying’, but knew what it is from the social media. Some, who did not know, were able to understand what it was during the session.

The community prevention program for the protection of children in Samoa, is part of a continuing partnership between SVSG and the UNICEF Pacific since 2015.  The seven communities piloted for the 2021-2022 community prevention program are Toamua, Fasitoo-uta, Fagalii, Luatuanuu, Solosolo, Siumu and Samalaeulu in Savaii.