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SVSG’s Campus of Hope brings hope to the victims of abuse

Ms Lautoo, husband and children
A young Samoan woman can attest to this

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Families in America continue to give promising futures to several victims of abuse from Samoa. 

One of them is a 24-year old Lauto’ofa from Samoa Victims Support Groups’ (SVSG ) Campus of Hope, in the Independent State of Samoa.

Lautoofa was brought into the shelter at the age of 10 and had been under the care of the Program for the next 6 years of her life, until she found herself a good home in the State of Utah in America.

Now at the age of 24, Ms Lautoo is visiting from the United States with her family, including her husband, two children and her in-laws.

The proud young mother was one of those many children who were ex victims of sexual, physical, domestic violence, and mental abuse under the care of Samoa Victim Support group, and adopted out to foreign parents.

She was then at 16 and known under the name Lautoofa when a couple from the USA who were on a mission in Samoa adopted her, and gave her the education she’s always wished to have.

And after 8 years in the real world, she’s graduated with a Bachelor in Criminal Justice. And her dream now is to become a Criminal Investigator for the US FBI.   her dream now is to become an Investigator for the US FBI.

SVSG’s President Siliniu Lina Chang in Samoa says, this is why there is a need to support the victims of abuse. This girl has been through the dark side of life. Lautoofa said, now she has a life with a family of her own, and now enjoying living in America with her children and husband’s family.

But while in Samoa, she’d spent hours singing for her sisters and brothers in the shelter and sharing with them her experience, from a violent home to  the caring hand of Mama Lina in the Campus of Hope, to a Lord given family she has now.

SVSG in Samoa has just launched an online fundraiser to help sustain their services.

As of today, there are close to 100 victims sheltered at a time, including the neglected ones, special needs; and most of them have suffered different forms of abuse from people who are close to them.

The Samoa Government for the first time in its last 2022- 2023 financial year budget allocated SVSG $500,000 to assist with an awareness project against violence.

And due to an increase of Violence against Women and Children, the current government has approved the same amount for this year’s 2023-2024 budget for SVSG.

Other US parents with adopted children from the Campus of Hope were also visiting earlier this year.    

Lautoofa is leaving Samoa on June 8, 2023 with her family — going back to Utah where she plays Ambassador for SVSG. 

Samoa News should point out that the domestic violence groups in American Samoa are non-profit organizations that do not receive funding from the local government, but are funded through private donations as well as federal grants. The local Department of Social Services, which funds a shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, is 100% funded by the US federal government.