Iva Primary Sch. opens library and Study Center
Iva Primary School in Savai'i officially opened its new library and Study Center on Thursday.
The project was jointly funded by the Australian Government through Direct Aid Programme (High Commissioners Fund) and Samoa Stationery and Books (S.S.A.B.), the total funding equivalent to more than $40,000.
Present at the ceremony was a representative from the Australian High Commission, Laura McIlhenny.
Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai, the C.E.O. and president of S.S.A.B., acknowledged the Australian Government for their financial assistance in helping open a library for the students of Iva.
“The opening of this new library today is a momentous occasion for me, my family and S.S.A.B being able to give back to my village of Iva is very humbling as this is the village where my ancestors are from.
“My grandfather Robert Stanley was honoured by his family here when they bestowed upon him the Tofilau title about 50 years ago, such honour was extended to me and others in my family last year,” said Tofilau.
She said the idea of setting up a library was boosted by the notion of education being the key to success.
“My heart is always for education because had it not been for education, I would not have been able to start, manage and operate my company S.S.A.B.
“I am a Samoan girl who grew up in Samoa. I loved reading but did not have enough money to buy books. My love of books and education enabled me to obtain a scholarship to study law in New Zealand and Masters of Law in Australia,” she added.
The C.E.O. of S.S.A.B. said another important factor in her life is God.
“Education alone is not enough. Despite the degrees that I hold, without God, I am nothing - I try to always honour God in whatever I do, which includes of course sharing the blessings God has bestowed upon me and S.S.A.B.
Tofilau also also approved the selection of books that were to be made available to the children in the library.
“We also have some nice Samoan resources for the kids. The more books that kids read, the more knowledge they will gain. This will increase their chances of furthering their studies, either at university or other learning institutions.
“And if one chooses to stay in Iva and serve through plantations or fishing, then that is fine so long as the knowledge gained from school will make them better farmers and better fishermen.
“This library is phase one of assistance to Iva. If this library is well used and properly maintained, then we can explore in the near future expanding this in a bigger study center,” she said.
She also thanked the village council of Iva, Ugapo Kavana Moeautoto, who is the principal of Iva Primary School and its staff, his family and husband who helped made the project a success.
Iva Primary School has 320 students with 11 teachers including its principal.