The U.S. Embassy today honored 11 Samoan organizations and 10 individuals at a Grantee Ceremony at the U.S. Embassy Residence Vailima. These organizations received funding from the U.S. Embassy Apia’s 2018 Public Diplomacy Grants program as well as other funding support. The individuals will or have participated in United States Exchange Programs, such as the International Visitor Leadership Program and Professional Fellows Programs. The keynote address at the ceremony was delivered by Ambassador Scott Brown, U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa.
Embassy Apia’s Public Diplomacy Grants Program is a small competitive program offering grants of up to USD $10,000 to local non-government organizations to strengthen democracy, engage youth, promote U.S.-Samoa links, address environmental and health issues, advance science and technology, increase respect for civil society and the rule of law, advance human rights and women’s rights. The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience America firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts.
- Samoa Victim Support Group
- Samoa Gridiron
- Samoa Women’s Association of Growers
- Animal Protection Society
- Samoa Aids Foundation
- Nobesity Samoa
- Invest Golf – Sports Envoy
- Samoana Jazz & Arts Festival – Arts Envoy
- Turn a Life Around – American Corner Grant
- Ministry of Education Sports & Culture – American Corner Grant
- Mose Mose – Professional ICT Fellows
- Talatalaga Matau Matafeo – Professional ICT Fellows
- Lenara Tuipoloa Utuva – Professional Tourism Fellows
- Sheena Ng Lam – Stowers – Professional Tourism Fellows
- Iulai Lesa – Professional Tourism Fellows
- Liz Ah Hi – Google Labs Hoax Workshop
- Vaitoa Toelupe – Alumni Exchange
- Fetoloai Yandall-Alama – International Visitor Leadership Program
- Lote Lima – International Visitor Leadership Program
- Keni Lesa – INDOPACOM Exchange (November 2018)
Brief Grantee and Project Descriptions
- The program incorporates health and fitness training to teach the importance of fitness, a good diet and staying away from smoking and alcohol. It aims to provide tools and skill set necessary to complete school and productive individuals, the program and performance of each participant is monitored by students providing school reports in order to continue taking part in the program.
Samoa Victim Support Group
- The overall goal of the SVSG project is to provide street vendors the chance to be equipped with skills on building and making crafts under their Hot Soup project. This project aims to ensure that street vendors are given the opportunity and skills for survival as well as learning a trait that can produce income in the future.
Samoa Women’s Association of Growers
- The Association aims to build capacity of its members and village participants through workshops on medicinal and vegetarian indigenous plants furthermore to identify how participants can maximize their production to earn income.
- The overall goal is combating climate change through integrating lessons learnt from schools to home and vice versa. To create a sustainable environment initiatives through recycling and waste-management. The program was given recognition in the previous week for the encouraging and awareness on climate change and how students can be a form of influence in society through environmental activities.
Animal Protection Society
- The aim of APS is to make available to the general public clinics to de-sex dogs as well as educate the public on the importance of animals and how to take care of them.
Samoa Aids Foundation
- The Foundation’s overall goal is to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV through workshops and improving education on increasing STI testing’s and awareness programs on the importance of being tested for STI’s and prevention.
- The overall goal is Health transformation to combat obesity and Non Communicable Diseases. To create sustainable health initiatives and promote healthy living and lifestyle for children, through regular exercise, healthy eating and hydration in schools and communities.
Samoa Jazz Festival
- As part of our Arts envoy, the Samoa Jazz Festival has been awarded this grant to promote jazz and enhance relations between Samoa and the US. This will also allow the band to resonate Samoan culture, where music and dance is used to pass down traditional knowledge and history.
- As part of our Sports Envoy, the Embassy sponsored Pro Golfer Scott Puailoa to come to Samoa and run golf clinics with young golfers. This program allowed for young golfers to experience and learn from Mr. Puailoa, in addition clinics were held for coaches and golf parents. The highlight of this event was the final day competition along with the increase of interest from the younger generation in golf.
American Corner Grantees
Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture Rep
- This project aims to assist the literacy & numeracy needs of children utilizing the American Corner. The intended programs and activities will continue great cultural programming for adults, students, and children
Turn a Life Around program
- This program has proactively provided free educational resources, scholarships, and tutoring for street vendor children.
- The program provides free two day weekly tutorials for college students, with careful attention towards students in the Samoa Gridiron program.
International Volunteers Leadership Program –
Lote Lima –
- Ms. Lima was awarded the IVLP: Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development, this program allowed exposure to economic, political and social factors that influence and encourage the development of small businesses.
Fetoloai Yandall-Alama –
- Under our IVLP Ms. Alama was given the chance to attend the Indo-Pacific Strategy Infrastructure Development program. It included meetings with U.S Organizations, local governments and businesses that have been involved in regional integration and economic growth through infrastructure development. She was given the opportunity to examine and discuss U.S regulatory processes and review best practices on funding approaches.
Professional Tourism Fellows
Lenara Tuipoloa Utuva; Sheena Ng Lam – Stowers & Iulai Lesa
- As part of our Exchange programs the above three participants were given the opportunity to undertake an intensive six week program to build significant new capacity and facilitate networking between tourism industry leaders with the United States and the Pacific Islands.
Professional ICT Fellows:
Mose Mose & Talatalaga Matau Matafeo
- The program allowed the two participants to look at how American communities, businesses and organizations are making use of high-speed internet connectivity. With their background in information technology the two participants were given the chance to meet with various American ICT leaders and businesses.
Liz Ah Hi
- Attended a workshop in Singapore at the Google Asia-Pacific Hub. This workshop was tailored specifically for journalist who wanted to learn how to verify the eyewitness media and identify fabricated websites, visual memes and manipulated videos that emerge online. In addition, to build their capacity on digital hygiene and online security so that journalist can also protect themselves online.
- Attended our U.S. alumni exchange program focusing on Strengthening Environments for Civic Participation and Public Engagement in order to promote accountability and transparency.
- Will be attending the INDOPACOM Program in Nov 25 – Dec 1. This trip was designed to provide an in-depth understanding of U.S contributions and perspectives on Indo-Pacific peace, security and stability, furthermore to understand U.S. military roles and capabilities. This trip will comprise of 7 New Zealand Media/Journalist and 1 from Samoa.