The Australian High Commission is pleased to announce its support for the Mage Kindergarten and Sulagwalu Water Projects through the Direct Aid Program (DAP).

The Mage Kindergarten means small children from the Mage village in the Langa Langa area who are unable to complete the long walk to Auki Primary School are able to commence their education. Australia provided SBD 30 000 for the construction of the kindergarten.

The Sulagwalu Water Project has provided clean drinking water to a community of 300 people in North Malaita. Australia provided SBD 30 000 for the construction of the water supply.

Australian Deputy High Commissioner, Ms Alison Duncan and Second Secretary, Hannah Churton, visited the projects during a recent trip to Malaita.

Ms Duncan said Australia was pleased to be able to assist community groups and organisations from all over Solomon Islands to enhance skills, improve living standards and build community confidence through the Direct Aid Program. "Every one of these projects, in its own small way, helps Solomon Islands as a whole to become a more peaceful, self-confident and prosperous nation", she said.

On visiting the Mage kindergarten, Ms Churton was impressed by the initiative of the community in establishing the school and saw first-hand the dedication of the community volunteers working with limited resources seeking to equip children to meet the challenges of the future.

At the Sulagwalu water supply, Ms Duncan saw how the community had used local innovation to construct the water supply, which had taken a number of years to complete. Before the project, women in the village had to walk long distances to access clean water.

The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is a small grants program designed to help community groups improve their living standards. DAP will provide SBD 500 000 for 30 community projects across Solomon Islands this year. The High Commission welcomes DAP applications from communities that need a helping hand to achieve their goals.