Pacific Regional Round Table – the Immersion Experience

by Cheon Young Cheol

23 – 28th July, Apia, Samoa

On the 24th July 2015, the Pacific Region met in Apia, Samoa for their Regional Round Table.  As part of our immersion experience in the context of Samoa we visited three places of significance.  The first visit was to the only Elderly Folks home at Mapuifagalele.  This was run by Little Sisters of the Poor.  It is unique in that many Samoan families often choose to care for their elderly parents at home however; this home provided
an alternative for those who struggled to fulfil this.  It was a loving and caring environment for the residents that lived there.

We also visited Samoan Victim Support Group (see photo).  This was a centre which cared for young women boys and girls who had been abused sexually, and SVSG provided a safe and protected home for these children.  Unfortunately there is no funding for them and they are staffed by volunteers.  The children performed for our visit and it was an emotional time for all of us.  There are abandoned babies and children who can no longer live at home due to their abusive histories.  Our challenge was how we can be supportive of this venture given that it exists out of necessity but is struggling to survive.

Olomanu Juvenile prison for young men.  We visited this prison and could see the huge plantation that the young prisoners worked on daily.  It is a centre for rehabilitation and there are no fences or gates how ever, it is well over an hours walk outside of the prison boundary through much bush and plantation.

By Rev Fei Taulealeausumai, CWM Pacific 

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