The Australian High Commission is pleased to announce its support for the Solomon Islands Girl Guides Association Sewing Project through the Direct Aid Program (DAP).

DAP funding enabled the Girl Guides association to purchase sewing machines to run sewing classes for the guides.

The machines, which replace equipment stolen and damaged during the tension, also mean the Girl Guides can sew their own uniforms.

The project was opened by the Australian High Commissioner, Peter Hooton, and Mrs Reni Hooton.

Mr. Hooton 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", he said.

Mrs. Hooton was impressed by the initiative of the Girl Guides in assisting young women to learn new skills and providing a means for them to earn an income.

"I was delighted to see first-hand how Direct Aid Program funds are being used to assist young women to develop leadership and initiative," she said.

The sewing courses are run by Mrs Lensa Magiza, who has seventeen years of experience working as an upholsterer. Mrs Magiza showed Mrs Hooton the impressive range of quilts, pillowcases, rugs and uniforms she had taught the girls to make.

Girl Guide Coordinator, Mrs Catherine Pule, told Ms Smith how the Girl Guides were ejected from their current location in central Honiara during the Tensions, and of their struggle to reclaim the site.

The projects were funded under the Direct Aid Program, a small grants program designed to help community groups improve their living standards. DAP will provide SBD 600 000 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.

Source: Australia High Commission, Honiara (Press Release)