The Lakepa Aoga Fakamahani today received some new resources for their preschool under the New Zealand High Commission Community Projects Fund.
New Zealand High Commissioner H.E. Helen Tunnah visited the Lakepa pre-school this morning to officially hand over four new ride-on toys, trampoline, and to see the completed storeroom and upgraded toilet and bathroom hand basin.
BCN News spoke with H.E. Helen Tunnah this morning where she explained the New Zealand High Commission’s Community Projects Fund.
“We have a small projects fund at the High Commission that helps community projects. It’s very flexible and we were here one day visiting the pre-school and Mary mentioned to us that she would like a store cupboard to keep all the toys secured.”
“At that stage she was having to lift everything into a cupboard which was quite hard. So we agreed that we would fund the cupboard and as we got talking to her we realised also that it would be good to put some improvements into the bathroom mainly to lower the hand basin because the little kiddies couldn’t reach the hand basin because it was too high so that was the main focus of the project,” says H.E. Helen Tunnah.
NZ High Commissioner Helen Tunnah says the projects fund is open and welcome to all communities on the island to apply for.
“The project fund is open all year round. Generally funds are up to around about $5,000 but I have discretion to increase that or a little bit less. What we just need to see is that it would benefit the community in some way and we can also partner with other agencies or NGOs or governments or village councils as well.”
“We encourage people to come and have a chat with us and we can look at the criteria for the fund together and work out whether or not the project will be able to be supported,” says H.E. Helen Tunnah.
The Lakepa Pre-school began in 2007 and is run by Kupa and Mary Magatogia.
There are currently 26 children enrolled in the Lakepa pre-school coming from different villages around the island.
Kupa and Mary expressed their thoughts of appreciation to the New Zealand High Commissioner for the support and the new resources for the Lakepa Maleloa pre-school.