American Embassy supports N.G.O. initiatives

The American Embassy has awarded six Samoan organisations funding of up to USD$10,000 for projects designed to strengthen democracy, engage young people and promote links between the two countries. 

Funding will also be provided to two individuals, who will participate in the United States Exchange Programme such as the Fulbright Scholarship, as well as organisations benefiting from Public Diplomacy Grants.

The Embassy Apia’s Public Diplomacy Grants Programme is a small competitive program offering grants of up to USD $10,000 to local non-Government organisations. 

The grants will go to organisations who aim to advance progress on environmental and health issues, strengthen civil society and promote the rule of law and human rights among other aims. 

The selected awardees include: Artificial Reefs and Mangroves Samoa Inc.; 1Touch Ministry; Samoa Chamber of Commerce; Samoa Association of Sign Language Interpreters; Samoa Women’s Association of Growers; Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture; Moeumu Uili; and Luafata Simanu.

One grant recipient, Artificial Reefs and Mangroves Samoa Inc,. aims to deploy additional artificial reefs in low reef areas and conduct awareness programs for children on the importance of protecting coral reefs and mangroves in Samoa. 

The organisation noted that the concept originated from the Reef Ball Foundation in Florida, USA; they will work towards using its methods and research to carry out its activities. 

Another, the 1Touch Ministry, aims to help the people of Samoa make improvements to their body, mind and spirit. The Ministry is a health-focused programme that concentrates on promoting and advocating healthy living and making informed decisions about healthy lifestyle. It consists of promoting healthy eating and physical exercise to combat non-communicable diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Through its bootcamp style of exercise, 1Touch aims to promote the importance of exercise; it was established in 1983 in the U.S. military.

Another recipient, the Samoa Chamber of Commerce, is using its funding to strengthen its strong ties to the United States Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber will seek to conduct a workshop to inspire young Samoans to respond to the challenges of COVID-19 in their communities through social entrepreneurship and resilience.

The Samoa Association of Sign Language Interpreters will use its funding to assist the deaf and hard-of-hearing community by increasing their awareness of and access to information. The programme will Incorporate the use of various sign languages including American, Australian and British. The Association also aims to create workshops to teach basic sign language skills amongst the public.

The Samoa Women’s Association of Growers (S.W.A.G.) aims to hold workshops on medicinal and vegetarian indigenous plants, to identify how participants can maximize their production to earn income by using American preservation techniques. S.W.A.G.’s overall aim is to promote and provide the women growers and farmers of Samoa with new opportunities for business, networking, training, expanding knowledge and accessing local and international markets. 

The American Spaces Support Fund, which is part of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture, will establish the American Corner project. The initiative aims to help children with their literacy and numeracy needs. Intended programmes and activities will be aimed at adults, students, and children. 

The Exchange Programmes: Moeumu Uili – Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship allows citizens of other countries to travel to the United States to study at U.S. universities or other educational institutions. It offers programme participants insight into U.S. society and values. The Fulbright grant is given to pursue a Master’s Degree, Ph.D. or research of up to 12 months’ duration at an American University. 

Luafata Simanu – American English – E-Teacher offers up to eight weeks of online university-level courses in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (T.E.S.O.L.). Its rubric has been developed by U.S. educational institutions. The courses present teachers with the challenge of balancing teaching both language and content through a series of practical, hands-on activities and theoretical information, preparing participants for future decision-making and problem-solving in the area of C.B.I. 


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