(GOVT. PRESS SECRETARY): First respondents with the Fire & Emergency Services Authority and Ministry of Police have been thrown a life line which will open a new gateway for their children to pursue tertiary education abroad.
Currently on the table for further negotiation are five scholarships to attend the Dixie State University in Utah, USA. And should pieces of the puzzle come together, the five scholarships awards will include tuition, room and board as well as assistance with immigration visas for the lucky Samoa students.
The new incentive is part and parcel of the community outreach instigated by Samoa patriot Faalogo Situtuila Sissy Vuki and husband Tupuola Sione Vuki residing in St. George Utah.
The announcement by Faalogo this week in Apia complements the $20,000 plus in financial assistance for the 911 National Emergency Call Center at Faleata and scholarships grant together with education material for the FESE and Police first respondents.
In total, the assistance package distributed Tuesday this week is in the neighbourhood of $35,000 far exceeding the targeted US$10,000 budgeted by Faalogo and Tupuola for their humanitarian grant.
A cash donation of $10,500 tala was presented to SFESA for the 911 Emergency Call Center while the balance funded scholarship grants and educational stationary for the 20 plus students from Primary to Tertiary level. (See list of recipents of Scholarships Grants published separately.)
Initially, the St George couple had donated over $15,000 tala for the 911 National Emergency Call Center last year.
The funds were donated by family, relatives, business associates and the wider community in St. George, New Zealand and Samoa.
In acknowledging the assistance, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi says that the country is “indebted to Samoan patriots such as Faalogo and her husband Tupuola who have reached out from a thousand of miles away in St George Utah to organise this worthy assistance that will benefit the children of our Fire Fighters and Police Officers.”
“I am aware that this is not the first time that Faalogo Sissy and Tupuola Sione have donated unselfishly to improve our 911 National Call Centre with over 15-thousand tala presented to SFESA last year,” continued the Prime Minister.
“Also in the last 10 years, the couple have discreetly remitted over $150-thousand tala to fund educational projects in Samoa.
“On behalf of Government and our people, faafetai, faafetai tele lava.”
The Prime Minister also extended Samoa’s appreciation to each and every one who contributed.
“To Samoa’s friends and compatriots in St. George, Utah as well as New Zealand and Australia who donated to this cause, we pray that our Father in Heaven will repay your kindness tenfold.
“To the recipients, the students and parents who are the beneficiaries, make full use of what you are receiving tonight to strive to be the best that you can be during your education journey.
“On that note, May God Bless each and every one who contributed to making this memorable event a reality.”