Australia supports Lotofaga Pre-School
The Lotofaga Pre-School has received over $15,000 worth of educational material including tables and chairs courtesy of the Australian government.
The donation was witnessed by the school Chairman Tupuola Oloialii Koki Tuala, the Australian High Commission Second Secretary Laura Mcilhenny, Lotofaga Catholic Parish Deacon Petelo Ulu as well as teachers, students and villagers.
Tupuola thanked the Australian High Commission official for the donation and made special mention of the Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Sara Moriarty.
“On behalf of the Lotofaga learning center and pre-school and also the Lotofaga Catholic Parish and village, I would like to thank you for your attendance today, representing the High Commissioner, Her excellency Sara Moriarty and the Office of the High Commission in handing over of the educational resources to the pre-school today,” he said in his opening remarks. “I also extend our warm welcome to the members of our village and particularly the parents and teachers of our pre-school.”
Ms McIlhenny, who spoke behalf of the High Commissioner, said the funding came from a small grant and the project is an example of Australia standing with Samoa in good and bad times.
“It is a real pleasure for me to be here today to handover these items on behalf of the Australian High Commissioner, Her excellency Ms. Sara Moriarty. Many years we have been supporting and funding small-scale development activities designed by the community for the community,” she said. “Just as we are standing here with you today to celebrate the handover of these educational resources, Australia is standing with our family in the Pacific including Samoa, in good times and in bad.”
Ms McIlhenny added that she hoped the donated material will contribute towards the creation of a conducive learning environment.
“It is my pleasure to officially handover these educational resources to the pre-school. It is our hope that these resources will contribute to creating a welcoming environment for learning and quality teaching. Encourage all the students here to make use of these resources in your learning.”
The work of the pre-school committee was also highlighted and praised for their commitment to the project by Ms McIlhenny.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the school committee for their commitment. Without their effort, this project would not have been possible. I sincerely hope that these educational resources and materials will be used and maintained as a symbol of friendship between Australia and Samoa,” she added.
Tupuola then concluded the presentation ceremony by thanking the Australian High Commission on behalf of the parish, village and the pre-school.
“We will continue to invest in the pre-school because it is very important. These children are the future leaders for the village and our community, the church and will be very important citizens of Samoa and play their part in the future development of this country,” he said. “We are very grateful to the government of Australia for continuing this direct assistance to communities in Samoa.”
Making reference to the challenges that Australia has faced in recent times, including the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the bushfires, Tupuola said they are thankful the pre-school project was still included in their small grant programmes.
“We are aware of the difficulties that the world is facing today because of the COVID-19, as well as Australia went through some very difficult times during the bushfires, as well as here in Samoa with the measles but we are very fortunate that we are still included in your development programmes for this year. I can assure you that the resources you provided today will be put to good use.”
He had also thanked the Samoa Stationery and Books C.E.O. Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai and her team for their assistance in providing a projector and a screen for the pre-school and the community.
The total cost of the educational material donation is approximately $15,341.