Light continues to shine on young girls of Tonga

13/11/2010 13:54

WCCC staff, ‘Asela Sauaki, Lesila To’ia and Vika ‘Akau’ola were invited to the Tongatapu, ‘Eua and Vava’u Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) - the week long sleep away camp for empowering young girls between the ages of 13 – 21. 

Sauaki, WCCC Community Education Trainer was a guest speaker at the Vava’u Camp GLOW and she talked on Sexual Harassment and Domestic Violence, “As young girls even in school you experience sexual harassment. It’s important to know that uninvited comments or actions are not acceptable, and you should be letting an adult know about the situation”.

Counselor Advocate, To’ia was a guest speaker for the main camp which included approximately 30 participants from Tongatapu and ‘Eua. She also presented on sexual harassment, “The girls were surprised at many of the things they learnt about sexual harassment -  they thought it was ok when a boy winks at them even though they don’t like it. If it makes you uncomfortable then it’s not ok.”

 ‘Akau’ola was one of the Camp Counselors to lead the young women who are early school leavers. “It was a great experience for me - I spent time with these young beautiful women and learnt that most of them only dropped out from school because they valued something else. The girls were happy with all the encouragement from the camp and are now thinking of going back to school or looking for a job.”

The camp provides participants with insight into issues and topics that are not taught at schools but are still relevant to their daily lives such as decision making, goals and motivation.

Participants expressed relief after realizing that it is possible to talk to people about the issue or confront the harasser by telling them that what he is doing is “not ok”.  The session also provided information on how to report sexual harassment to authorities with an understanding that sexual harassment is not the victims fault.