The Australian High Commission is pleased to announce its support for 28 community projects in Solomon Islands, totalling SBD 600,000.

The projects were funded under the Direct Aid Program (DAP), a small grants program designed to help community groups improve their living standards in direct and practical ways. The projects, spread across all provinces, include water tanks, school furniture, tsunami rehabilitation initiatives, and small income generating projects such as sewing machines, boat-building and copra driers.

High Commissioner, Mr Frank Ingruber, said Australia was pleased to assist community groups and organisations from all over Solomon Islands to enhance skills, improve living standards, and build community confidence. "Every one of these projects, in its own way, helps Solomon Islands as a whole become a more peaceful, self-confident and prosperous nation."

"By improving living standards at the grass roots level, we are helping individuals, communities and ultimately the nation. Through visits to Savo, Western province and Malaita, I have been able to see first-hand what a difference these projects make to peoples' daily lives and how appreciated they are."

Third Secretary, Amanda Davis, presented the latest cheque to Rev Johnson Bana on Monday, for a water tank for Tasia Training Centre in Isabel, which runs technical training courses for youth. Ms Davis visited the Centre earlier this year and was impressed by the Church of Melanesia's work in assisting youth to learn new skills and thereby advance their employment prospects.

The Direct Aid Program will provide SBD 950,000 for community projects in Solomon Islands this financial year. The High Commission welcomes well-considered and worthwhile DAP applications from communities that need a helping hand to achieve their goals.