15 Dec 2006

American Samoa to offer couples marriage advice

10:32 am on 15 December 2006

The government in American Samoa is to offer couples advice on forming and sustaining healthy marriages.

The programme, to be called O le Lio o le Alofa, or Circle of Love, is funded by a grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services.

According to census figures, fewer than forty percent of American Samoans classified as married in 2000 were still together by 2004,

The programme will be provided in partnership with six church groups, who will get $20,000 annually for the next five years.

Governor Togiola Tulafono explained the purpose of the Lio o le Alofa Project.

"To help couples who have chosen marriage gain greater access to marriage education services where they can acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to form and sustain a healthy marriage. We could not do this alone and we have asked the churches to come forward and they have accepted the challenge to help us"