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Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
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Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat

Funds missing at Mapusaga

By Jasmine Netzler-Iose

Funds missing at Mapusaga Missing funds in the vicinity of $45,000 has raised eyebrows within Mapusaga o Aiga (Family Haven).

While the Chief Executive Officer, Salanieta Uelese, has left the country for the United States of America, a dedicated member, Tavui Annie Laumea told the Samoa Observer she is “disgusted” about what has happened in the organisation set up to address domestic violence and sexual abuse. 

“MOA is my baby and I am unhappy with what has materialised in relation to the allegations surrounding the money,” says Tavui.  “I am absolutely disgusted. “I am no longer on the Board but I am still a member of MOA and this is what I had feared.”

Tavui said MOA has fallen on bad times since its founding and after senior members left.  “I try every week or two to visit MOA and check with them to see if there is something I can do to help out, but the CEO has always informed me there’s no need.”

Tavui understands the missing funds are a donation to the organisation from the United States Embassy.  She said a part from the issue of these missing funds there was also “an issue with bounced cheques”. 

The organisation’s office at Nia Mall has been closed for the past two weeks. A source at Nia Mall confirmed that the organisation also has issues with unpaid rent.
Tavui hopes that immediate action is taken to find out where the money has gone.

MOA is under the Samoa Umbrella for Non-Governmental Organisations (SUNGO).
SUNGO Chief Executive Officer, Roina Vavatau said an official comment should come from the organisation’s president, Mauala

ivao Pepe Seiuli.

The Samoa Observer, however, could not get a hold of Maualaivao. A call to his office confirmed that he has no landline to his home but that he had gone for the day because he was ill.  Ms Vavatau confirmed that an investigation is planned in relation to the matter “of missing funds.”

But she could not comment on the issue saying “I had heard about it in-directly”.
Mapusaga o Aiga (Family Haven) is a nonprofit organization that was set up in 1993 to cater to the growing concerns of sexual abuse and domestic violence in Samoa.

It focuses on providing public education and raising awareness on topics of sexual abuse and domestic violence that creates opportunities for training of personnel in family counseling, administration and any related areas among other purposes. MOA advocates strong in eradicating sexual abuse against children, women and violence against both sexes and children.

Financial assistance from the New Zealand Government and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs in Samoa has provided the means by which the organisation has been able to work closely with Government in a collective effort to eliminate all forms of violence and sexual abuse according to its country profile.

In late 1995, MOA was appointed by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs of Samoa to manage the "violence" component of the Ministry’s three year project, which is funded by the NZ Government. MOA in its search for new sources of funding, has been successful in obtaining 5 year funding from NZAID in 2003.

Last year in September the organization was donated USD$20,000 by newly arrived Chargé d’Affaires for the U.S. Embassy in Apia, Chad J. Berbert.
This was handed over at a grant signing ceremony at MOAs headquarters.

The grant was given to fund Samoa Human Rights Advocacy Project to address issues of family violence and promote awareness of Constitutional Rights of citizens.  
The project was also to promote appreciation of the concepts of the Convention on Elimination and Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

 

 

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