New Zealand High Commission Nuku'alofa, Tonga

New Zealand furnishes three classrooms; and increases the funding available to small community projects – May 2013.

Director of Education, Dr 'Emeli Pouvalu and the New Zealand High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr Mark Talbot

New Zealand will provide assistance to the Vava’u Side School to furnish 3 new classrooms. New Zealand High Commissioner, Mark Talbot, today presented funding towards four tables, chairs and a cupboard for three classrooms.

The Vava’u Side School Principal, Corina Guttenbeil, said “the school wishes to provide a classroom environment conducive to learning and having this furniture will undoubtedly help create a positive atmosphere that will motivate and allow students to strive for excellence. This will not only benefit Form 1 & 2 students but also Classes 1-6 as they will eventually come up to Form 1 & 2 and even children who are yet to enter. The student body is made up of children from all over Vava'u and not just central Neiafu, so the whole of Vava'u will greatly benefit.”

Funds for these furnishings are made available from the New Zealand High Commission’s Head of Mission Fund (HOMF).  Funding of this project coincides with an increase in the size of projects able to be funded. Applications to the HOMF for projects up to TOP$8000 will now be accepted, an increase of TOP$3000 from the previous limit.

New Zealand High Commissioner, Mark Talbot, said “when we set up the Head of Mission Fund, it was specifically designed to help community groups with small projects.  Our partnership with Vava’u Side School is a great example.  Together, we are trying to create a classroom environment where the students can achieve their dreams.  The High Commission wants to find more worthy projects like that at the Vava’u Side School.  That is why we have increased the amount of funding available per grant.”

In the 2010/2011 financial year, HOMF supported 29 community projects across a range of areas such as income generation resources for women’s groups, infrastructure such as water tanks and fences for schools and environmental projects such as the replanting of trees. Recipients are normally not-for-profit organisations implementing projects that benefit the community.

Application packages are available on the New Zealand High Commission website (http://www.nzembassy.com/tonga) or at reception.

For more information please contact the New Zealand High Commission on 23 122.

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