Women finding their place through The Salvation Army Samoa
In the two short years that Lt. Colonel Jenny Carey has been pioneering The Salvation Army's work in Samoa, women have been finding their place in leadership and growing community.
Lt. Colonel Jenny Carey is the Regional Leader of The Salvation Army Samoa, with her husband Lt. Colonel Rod Carey. In 2018, along with Corps Plant Officer Major Miriama Simanu, they planted The Salvation Army in Samoa. As their work grows, the way has opened for women to lead, serve and speak in Apia Corps and the community.
Growing together and not separately
Jenny tells us that 'At present, we do not operate a separate women's ministries from the rest of the Corps and tend to do things for all genders and ages. We are trying to be appropriate and not to separate.' Their inclusive approach is working - four of the five senior soldiers are women, two of the three recent adherents are women and three of the seven Junior soldiers are girls.
Jenny says they are 'not wanting to over-commit or run ahead of what God is wanting to do here', and are focusing on doing what they do well.
Fundraising for a common cause
On alternate years, Women's Ministries of The Salvation Army New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory works together on a Divisionally-led or Territorially-led project. The Salvation Army Samoa Region currently has one Corps, and their members are all working together toward common goals for their fundraising.
'Although this is not solely targeted as a women's ministries project for the Region, it is a Corps fundraising venture. One of our local department stores donated hundreds of items of clothing and shoes, which we sell in a fortnightly clothing sale. We have made $4515, and a portion of this is going towards getting some of our youth to Amplify (The Salvation Army Creative Arts Camp) if the borders open. Some will go towards our Community Ministries.'
Projects that make a difference
Jenny shares an insightful bedrock of their ministry in Samoa with women, saying 'Our main work with women's ministries and ’reimagining WM’ is outside the walls of the Corps. Since being here, we have been invited to be part of NGO’s and Government working groups to help with various projects.' Many of these have a direct impact on women and girls, their safety and their opportunities within Samoa. Projects so far have been:
- Stopping child street vendors and encouraging the parents to send their children to school
- Decreasing violence against women and girls
- Coordination Meeting of Partners - Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support
- Samoa Civil Society National Reference Group
- Supporting the measles epidemic in Samoa, working with NEOC
Jenny also nominated two women from The Salvation Army to be representatives on the Samoa Civil Society National Reference Group, one of whom has been accepted as a Human Rights Advocate. This group intersects with The Spotlight Initiative and #WithHer campaign, which is 'a global partnership between the United Nations and the European Union to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls and to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.' Jenny tells us how much they look forward to seeing the outcomes from this group, and its impact on their community.
We are so encouraged to hear all the ways that The Salvation Army Samoa is working toward the growth and development of women in their ranks and community! As Jenny and Rod return to New Zealand in 2021 for their new appointments, we thank God for the legacy they've created in Samoa and all the ways women are using their voice for lasting change.
Do you want your group to join in fundraising with your Division? Then contact your Divisional Director of Women's Ministries for more information or email Territorial Women's Ministries: Rosy.Keane@salvationarmy.org.nz