New Zealand NGO Helps To Empower Pacific Kids

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‘Making a difference for Pacific Kids’ moves from Fiji to Samoa

By Jasmine Netzler

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Oct. 9, 2014) – Paul Ross is a man on a mission.

The Founder of a programme called "Making a difference for Pacific Kids" which is based in New Zealand wants to help the less fortunate children of Samoa, just as he and his organisation have done in other countries.

The programme, for instance, has made a huge difference in the lives of children in Fiji. His help to that country includes a house for Fijians on 11 acres of land. Ten of those acres are filled with sugar cane plants, to help sustain people under the programme, helping to empower them.

And now that Fiji has some established self-sufficient programmes available to people there, he has moved his interest to Samoa – to the Samoa Victim Support Group (S.V.S.G.).

Mr. Ross arrived in the country on Tuesday morning with close relative, Michael McClelland.

Yesterday, they visited to S.V.S.G. President, Lina Chang.

Mr. Ross said he is amazed at how hard working Mrs. Chang is and he has been deeply touched by the stories of the children living in the shelters.

Within the small time he has been in Samoa, Mr. Ross has already to secure work experience opportunities for some of the young female adults at the House of Hope to work at a local supermarket.

This, he said, will assist them greatly in building their skills.

"It will help you stand on your own two feet," he told them yesterday.

He has also opened an account in one of the local banks for money to help provide food for all shelters operated by S.V.S.G.

"This will be $500 a week and $2,000 a month that will go to put food on the table for them," he said.

Mr. Ross has more ideas and plans to create an avenue to provide better exposure to assist in the development and empowerment of these young children cared for by the organisation.

He plans to return to Samoa again every quarter to visit and see the progress of the work already initiated and implemented.

The young girls during this visit took the opportunity to thank him for his generosity and assistance in supporting them.

They asked him specifically not to forget them at the S.V.S.G. shelter when he returns today to New Zealand.

Mr. Ross was referred to the S.V.S.G. by the Samoa Observer.

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