Saturday, March 14, 2009

Samoan community mourns

The Samoan community, a growing part of life in San Francisco's Southeast Sector, suffered back-to-back losses when Lepeti Tuitele Fazio died in a freak accident March 6th in American Samoa while she was preparing for the funeral of her brother, Senator, Paramount Chief Tuitele Fofo Tony Tuitele. The siblings were part of a clan that for generations has included chiefs of the western region.

The losses have devastated the South Pacific nation, and are deeply felt in Bayview Hunters Point where the Samoan community has deep roots. A major hub for the community is the First Congregational Christian Church of American Samoa in Bayview on Hollister Avenue.

A large percentage of the neighborhood's school children is American Samoan, with Malcolm X Academy reporting the largest concentration, about a third of the overall student body. For KIPP Academy, on Key Avenue, that figure is 9%.

For more info: The Samoan Community Development Center has been serving the needs of the local community since 1991.

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