Peer2Peer Initiative launches “Soulful Weaver Fridays”.
Written by: Judane Ieremia – Apoua & Zelda Ah Ching
During these unprecedented and uncertain times, Soulful Weaver Fridays, was launched on the 30th April, 2021, by the Peer2Peer Initiative Group. On the theme Turn your scars into stars, the program seeks to create space for informal conversations through interactive activities offering academic and social support. It was also an opportunity to collaborate with Student Support Services, offering them a space to meet and connect with students.
The name Soulful Weavers, originated from an advocacy group made up of students and Social Science staff at NUS in 2016. This group joined a global project called the One Million Stars to End Violence, whereby they hosted Weave Jams to weave stars and have conversations on a sensitive and challenging social issue. Stars are a symbol of HOPE and the Peers are bringing them back to once again to give HOPE to students and staff during these uncertain times. Launching Soulful Weaver Fridays, also honors and acknowledges the pioneering work by this group in paving the way for what Peer2Peer Initiative is today.
In her opening remarks, Dr Anita Lata’i on behalf of the Faculty of Arts, spoke of the importance of such programs, to motivate and encourage students in their academic journeys, as they face many challenges that may hinder their progress.
The Director of Student Support Services, Tupa’i Ripine Peresetene who was the keynote speaker, acknowledged the efforts of the Peers, who offer a student to student approach in providing academic and social support at NUS.
The launch was officially opened by the Vice Chancellor, Afioga Aiono Professor Dr Alec Ekeroma. He acknowledged this program as it complimented the Faigalotu (Mid-Week prayers) that was initiated late last year as a response to Well-being for staff and students.
This event was also an opportunity for the Peers to ask for a space to host their Peer Mentoring and Advocacy activities, which was kindly accepted by the Vice Chancellor.
Following the formalities, the participants were invited to join in on a range of activities that included the star weaving, banner painting, a quiz competition and beauty & pampering. Present at the launch were staff from the Library, Student Administration, Chancellery and the Faculty of Arts.
This event was organized and facilitated by the Peers Advocacy Team (Judane Ieremia, Mafuli Tagataese & Ryuji Latu) and was funded by the Peers themselves through fundraising activities. Soulful Weaver Fridays will be an on-going activity every Friday at the EFL Lab and FOA Hallway for students and staff.