Australia’s CSSP Supports SENESE Hearing Screening and Speech Therapy Project for Children

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15th October, 2021, Apia Samoa.   The Australian Government in its enduring partnership with the Government of Samoa through the Civil Society Support Programme (CSSP) provided SAT$173,000 to SENESE Inclusive Education Support Services in support of their project on “Strengthening SENESE support services under Hearing Services, Speech & Language Therapy as well as Vocational Life Long Learning.”

The funding was awarded by CSSP to the Organization in August 2019 after SENESE’s project application was accepted under the Round 3 Call for Proposals of the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Support for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

Civil Society Organizations play a significant role in the development of Samoa. Their services include but not limited to service delivery, building local capacity and advocacy for gender equality. The fund offered assistance to NGOs like SENESE to address the needs of vulnerable people including those with disability.

SENESE Inclusive Education Support Services is a not for profit organization that provides learning and support for children and youth with disabilities in schools and in the communities. The prime objective of this project is to improve SENESE’s support services under three major components namely hearing services, speech and language therapy, and vocational lifelong learning.  The targeted beneficiaries comprised of primary school students and youth who are deaf and have hearing impairment, as well as those with language and speech impediment.

The funding assistance for the project allowed SENESE to conduct outreach and capacity development programs. The Organization was also able to purchase relevant equipment for hearing services, learning resources for children with speech and language impediments, as well as tools and resources to establish vegetable farming. Additionally, SENESE was able to purchase a screen printing machine and other equipment to enhance vocational skills.

By the end of the project, SENESE was able to support more than 2,000 beneficiaries who were engaged in the application of its services.

“The three project components saw SENESE conducting different activities and services in Upolu and Savaii. These included Hearing Screening for Pre-schools in both Upolu and Savaii, up-skilling training of staff in different areas of inclusive education, purchase of educational resources for children to assist with language development, vocational activities such as making handicrafts and operating vegetable gardens as well as establishing our screen printing operation which is an added activity for our vocational division that aims to teach children relevant skills to assist them lead independent lives through the ability to care for themselves by earning a living and contributing to their families” said Ms Ladesha Stevenson (Chairperson of SENESE Board of Directors).

SENESE celebrated yesterday the official closing of their CSSP project together with the Launching of their Screen Printing Project. This screen printing initiative is a milestone achievement of the Organization’s CSSP project as it intends to generate income that will underpin the continuation and sustainability of the organization’s services.

SENESE acknowledged the funding assistance by the Government of Australia (DFAT) and the support by the CSSP.

The keynote address was delivered by the CSSP Programme Manager, Pāsina Christina Tauā, on behalf of the Government of Samoa and the Donor to recognize and acknowledge the tremendous efforts by SENESE for the communities and people with physical and learning disabilities.