The Government of Japan has presented a refurbished school building which included extra classrooms to the Solosolo Primary School.
Japan’s ambassador to Samoa, Shinya Aoki, made the presentation recently on behalf of his government to the Solosolo village community.
The primary school is over 30 years old and due to the village’s increasing population, the community concluded that the school building should be extended and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is approached for assistance. An agreement was signed in February this year, paving the way for the repairs and refurbishment.
The refurbishment of the building was completed in 16 weeks as requested in their proposal to the Japanese-owned aid agency.
But the building project hit a hurdle when it was revealed that the JICA funding was not able to meet the full cost of the project, compelling the villagers to contribute and raise their own funding to the tune of $40,000 to enable them to complete the project.
Local carpenter Amituanai Leota was initially engaged to work on the school building—due to his expertise and experience—and was engaged again towards the end to complete the project.
There were disagreements amongst villagers on whether a new building should be built or the old one renovated—but the school committee and the principal and staff agreed that the building should only be renovated.