The United Nations Development Programme Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (U.N.D.P. GE.F-S.G.P) continues to support efforts to improve knowledge and technical expertise in sustainable agricultural practice, including organic farming and gardening, as well as the preservation and protection of spring water resources in Samoa.
These assistance contribute to strengthened community efforts to achieving improved food security and nutritional benefits, safe drinking water, and increased economic activities.
The villages of Poutasi and Magiagi, as well as the Aoga Fiamalamalama, are amongst several recipients of financial and technical support provided by the U.N.D.P. G.E.F-S.G.P. and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) of Samoa.
Showcasing an array of healthy vegetable gardens grown by the Taumafai Sosaiete of Magiagi, Aleni Uelese thanked U.N.D.P. GEF-SGP and M.A.F. for their support and assistance.
“Our small Society is extremely pleased with the progress of our project. It is hard work, but we are reaping the benefits of what working together as a community can bring about. We have now a much better appreciation of sustainable agricultural practices and seeing the results of these and the positive effects they have on our families is deeply satisfying,” said Aleni Uelese.
Aoga Fiamalamalama school principal Ms. Sharon Suhren says, “The school is so grateful and so proud to be the recipient of UN funds. It has enabled the school to take its program for its senior students with a disability to the next level.
“Which is using the knowledge they have gain on good gardening practices to show what they can do but also show the wider community that they can manage and implement it themselves and in return encourage some of the youth out there who are out of school and unemployed that there is a future in utilizing our land.
“The organic garden can feed them but it can also provide an income. And for youth with a disability who left school at an early age, it is just not attending any school there is support and direction available at our school which supports them into a career or interest like arts or sports. We would like to hear from them next year. Thank you again UN for the generous financial support.”
This view was shared by U.N.D.P G.E.F-S.G.P’s representative Lilomaiava Taumalaulu Filifilia Iosefa and Tuua Tommy Tuuamalii from M.A.F, particularly noting that the Aoga Fiamalamalama and Taumafai Sosaiete from Maagiagi had only signed their Memorandum of Agreements in August 2017 and October 2017.
“We are extremely delighted to see such positive results in a short period of time. Aoga Fiamalamalama and Taumafai Sosaiete had set for realistic goals for their projects, and through hard work and committed efforts, they are not only able to enjoy the fruits of their labour, they now able to share their experience and acquired skills and knowledge with other local stakeholders. I am confident that we will be seeing more positive stories from the Aoga Fiamalamalama and Taumafai Sosaiete in the near future,” said Lilomaiava.
Lilomaiava also noted that various other community projects around Samoa were making good progress. “It is always encouraging to be a part of and to share in the success of the selected grantees. While the tools we provide to facilitate such successes are important, the passion and commitment of a community to do and achieve better in a sustainable environment is invaluable.”