Group Promotes Dialogue On Sensitive Issues In Samoa

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Project looks to overcome hurdles, discuss social problems

By Alan Ah Mu

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, August 15, 2013) – Taboos on discussion of sensitive issues within families should be broken, but if not, ways should be sought to make it happen.

That is one aspect of the "Open the Door Project" launched today in Samoa to promote effective communication in the home.

Implemented by Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Samoa, and funded by Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS) the project relies heavily on the media.

"ADRA Samoa will work closely with the media to try and overcome the cultural constraints that prevent open discussion about the underlying causes of many of the social problems that exist in Samoa including teenage pregnancy, family violence, suicide, drug abuse and youth violence," Director Su’a Julia Wallwork said.

Many organisations and churches work for the same goal but ADRA must contribute because "the difficulties we don’t want to hear about still occur," Su’a said.

Weekly TV and radio panel discussion of the issues and information flyers are expected to generate more open discussion of the issues.

"Through the media we can reach people in their homes, and more importantly we want to encourage people to open the door and talk about their problems," said Su’a.

"There is a need for widely accessible and available information about a variety of topics all aimed at encouraging greater communication amongst families," Project Manager, Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson, said.

They will draw on the experience of those who have faced difficulties and panels of experts, Lagipoiva said.

All know in Samoa that everyone has experienced some form of violence including her, she said.

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