AUSTRALIA SUPPORTS EDUCATION, HEALTH IN RURAL SAMOA

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$65,000 allocated under AusAid Direct Aid Program (DAP)

By Jasmine Netzler-Iose APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Dec. 12, 2011) - Seven local schools have a lot to thank Australia for. Australian High Commissioner Stephen Henningham yesterday allocated funds of worth 154,679 tala [US$65,000] to help in the areas of education and health in the villages.

Mr Henningham said Australia has given Samoa in substantial aid to improve the affairs and conditions of schools and community organizations. He said the recipients of the donations were making a real difference in their communities.

"I am very proud that we can help these local organizations conduct these important development activities."

He said whether through providing water tanks, books, furniture or sewing machines, it is an honor to assist so many Samoans to get a head-start in life.

"More projects would be supported this financial year and I encourage villages or community groups to submit DAP (Direct Aid Program) applications."

DAP is an integral component of Australia’s overseas development program and helps build links with particular countries.

Activities and projects that can get funding under DAP include areas of alleviating poverty, community health, schools/education, small scale infrastructure, rural development and environment.

Avau Pauli Mateo a representative from the Sakalafai Women’s Committee from Salelologa who received 60,000 tala [US$25,200] to assist in the construction of their new community fale praised Australia for its generous help.

"The old building is no longer in its former location on the water front," said Ms Mateo. She said this was due to the issue of past experiences with natural disasters. "As a result we have relocated inland and are starting construction work for a securer community house.

Part of the funds will go towards other development projects the women’s committee is currently involved with at present."

Ms Mateo said so far there are 80 women involved in their committee.

St Theresa Primary School, Fusi Safotulafai - $35,000

Methodist Preschool, Neiafu-tai, Savaii - $5,990

EFKS Preschool, Vaovai Falealili -$7,875.

Missionary Sisters of the Faith Preschool, Moamoa - $9,550

Women’s Committee, Satui Fasitoo-uta - $6,800

Culture X (NHS Prevention Outreach Program) - $29,389

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