Congressman Faleomavaega today announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (US-DHHS) yesterday awarded $1,782,791 to the American Samoa Department of Human and Social Services (AS-DHSS) for the Prevention Fa’aSamoa Partnership Project.
The grant, awarded through US-DHHS’ Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), is a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Cooperative Agreement that will fund the community-based project for a three-year period starting September 30, 2012 and ending September 29, 2015. The grant will fund the community-based Prevention Fa’aSamoa Partnership Project, which is headed by Project Director Louisa Te’o Tuiteleleapaga and Project Manager Tu’umafua Maiava of AS-DHSS.
As part of the project, twelve community coalitions were organized throughout American Samoa tailored to meet the specific needs of their villages. The Strengthening Samoan Families (SSF) component of the program brings AS-DHSS staff into the villages to work directly with families in substance abuse prevention education. Another component of the program called Life Skills Program focuses on youth 10-14 years of age.
The project, originally funded in 2011 through the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG), was also highlighted at the US-DHHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 8th annual Prevention Day this past February in a brief documentary showcasing the program’s successes in American Samoa. The documentary, produced by SAMSHA, highlighted the project’s unique capabilities to carry out comprehensive and culturally competent substance abuse prevention strategies that reflect Samoan traditions and culture.
“I am pleased to know that this program will assist the American Samoa Department of Human and Social Services in supporting individuals, families, youth, and villages in substance abuse prevention efforts,” Faleomavaega stated.
“I am pleased too that the American Samoa Department of Human and Social Services has been awarded this grant for the Prevention Fa’aSamoa Project and I am thankful that it will be a significant building block in our local efforts to keep our villages drug free and support positive health outcomes in American Samoa.”
“I commend AS-DHSS Director Leilua Stevenson and the leaders of this project, Louisa Te’o Tuiteleleapaga and Tu’umafua Maiava and their staff for their tireless efforts to support our youth and families in American Samoa.”
“Finally, I thank Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and her team at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for making available these funds to assist our local government in this important community health effort,” Congressman Faleomavaega concluded.