A new Aele-Fou Preschool and Community Hall Project was opened on Saturday morning.
The occasion had added significance with the presence of Australia’s Governor General, Sir Peter Cosgrove.
“Early childhood education is the essential first step in the child’s entry into the world of learning,” he said.
“It’s a critical building block in developing a child’s learning capacity. This new pre-school will provide a comfortable and safety environment for the children of this village and neighboring villages.
“And from the Australian delegation, we are all delighted that the Australian Government was able to support this project.
“Over the next several years, our government will also finance building materials for schools across the land.
“We believe that that is a wonderful contribution that we can undertake to help children be better prepared when they enter primary, secondary and tertiary education.
“It’s an educational investment and a priority of the Australian Government here in Samoa. “
The project cost more than $100,000.
It was made possible through the assistance of the Australian High Commission’s Direct Aid Programme which provided $63,952.69.
The rest was funded by parents and the Aele village.
The occasion was a joyous time for, parents, students and the village’s School Committee.
President Amelia Tavaoga thanked the government of Australia for their help.
“To the government of Australia, Governor Sir Cosgrove and your delegation thank you so much for the assistance,” she said, adding that the building will be used to educate the young generations of the village.
The Direct Aid Program (D.A.P) is a community development program funded by the Australian Government.
The programme aims to support projects with a strong development focus that complement Australia’s broader aid programme which contributes to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.
The Minister of Education, Sports and Culture and M.P. for Aele-fou, Loau Keneti Sio, said the Aele project reaffirms the continued mutual and friendly ties between Australia and Samoa.