by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
In a recent report, child vendors have seen a growing concern from the public calling on the Samoan government, and respective authorities to implement effective measures, to address the issue, as it was affecting many children, and their education.
These concerns came about after CCTV footage posted online showed three children attacking a homeless person at night.
The government, in response to addressing these concerns and the issue of child vendors, through the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, has initiated a week-long training to help vulnerable families.
The initiative was aimed at helping families that are socially, environmentally, physically and economically vulnerable, to support them start up smaller businesses that will help them earn income to sustain their living.
With this aim, several families have been selected according to the database from the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, showing which families are vulnerable and are eligible for the training.
The representatives for these families selected were from villages of Leone, Tufuiopa, Vaiusu and Leulumoega tuai.
According to the information, eleven were selected for the training, however only six graduated.
During the training, participants were taught on smaller businesses such as printing materials, carving and other handicrafts. The successful graduates will be given $3,500 monetary assistance to kick start their business.
Following strict restrictions, part of the money will be given to the participants to start their business, while the remainder, will be kept and given later should they need tools or other necessities of the business.
The six participants each graduated with participation certificates acknowledging their participation in the training.
According to Nanai Sovala, the Acting CEO of MWCSD, the initiative is new and will help the vulnerable families to make ends meet. It is a sustainable investment the Samoan government has taken, and will continue to help more vulnerable families sustain their living.
The government in partnership with other agencies have come up with similar initiatives, to drive their aim in tackling child vendors in Samoa.
Through the Youth Employment Programme funded by the UNDP, and in partnership with the Small Business Enterprises, the training was successfully held, proposing for more training to help more vulnerable families, and support the government in its efforts to tackle the child vendor issue.
Photo: Samoa Observer