November 19, 1998
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. ---- FALEOMAVAEGA CONGRATULATES U'UNA'I
LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION
It is with pleasure that the Office of Congressman Faleomavaega notes the inception of the U'una'i Legal Services Corporation. The U'una'i was incorporated in 1987, but only last month received its first federal funding from the United States Department of Justice, Violence Against Women Grants Office of the Office of Justice Programs. Through this grant, the Territory of American Samoa will establish its first civil legal assistance for battered and abused women.
U'una'i will thus provide, under the auspices of this initial grant, civil legal advice and assistance on issues such as temporary restraining orders, custody, and divorce - - as well as providing outreach to publicize services to victims and survivors of domestic violence. It will be working in close collaboration with existent local domestic violence organizations. It will also be able to offer general civil legal services to victims of domestic abuse. This legal advice and assistance will be free of charge to victims of domestic abuse.
The Board of the U'una'i Legal Services Corporation is comprised of Ms. Renee Aguon-Lutu, President; Mr. Kato Ainu'u, Vice-President; Ms. Virginia Sale, Secretary- Treasurer; and Mr. Charles Ala'ilima, Ms. Gwen Langkilde and Ms. Virginia Sudbury as board members. Ms. Sudbury is the project director. It is the hope of U'una'i that it will continue to receive federal funding in the future so that it will be equipped to expand its services to the indigent population of the Territory.
"I want to commend the officers and other members of the Board of Directors, with a special commendation to Charles Ala'ilima, for their years of diligence and hard work in establishing U'una'i. Many of the residents in American Samoa cannot afford an attorney to represent them in civil court cases, and U'una'i will now begin to fill part of that need. I thank everyone involved in the creation of U'una'i for their work and wish them much success," said Faleomavaega.
Further information can be obtained by contacting Ms. Virginia Sudbury at 684-633-2892. The mailing address is P.O. Box 6341, Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799.