U.S. State Department Announces 2018 Young Pacific Leaders Grant Recipients

U.S. State Department Announces 2018 Young Pacific Leaders Grant Recipients

Salome Aba, a teacher from St. Josephs International School in Port Moresby, received one of the twelve grants awarded by the U. S. Department of State to participants in the 2018 Young Pacific Leaders (YPL) Program. She and her co-worker Vagi Malaga received funding for their project “Training in Jolly Phonics” that will provide skills-based training to elementary school teachers in the Kerowagi District of Chimbu Province, Papua New Guinea.

Other teams, representing 10 different Pacific countries in addition to Papua New Guinea, will receive up to $13,750 each to implement projects related to the program’s core themes of education, environment and resource management, civic leadership, and economic and social development.

“Coming from a small village, Mingendi where elementary teachers are not qualified but have passion and develop love for early childhood learning has motivated me to do more in this area,” said Salome Aba, who is targeting five elementary schools situated in the village.

PNG YPL grant recipient Salome Aba speaking at the workshop in Auckland, New Zealand.

Two projects from Vanuatu also received funding. The Malasitabu Project, focused on supporting Malasitabu Primary School through classroom infrastructure development, healthy lifestyle promotion and waste management education, and the Early Literacy- Let’s Read initiative targeting early learning for children under the age of three.

In addition to funding, YPL grantees attended a kick-off workshop in Auckland, New Zealand on May 10-11, where they refined their project ideas and learned more about successful grant management. The teams will receive mentorship throughout the year to help ensure their project’s success.

“The workshop taught me a lot and broke down our respective budgets to capture vital components, more importantly taught me to put ideas into action.” Salome added.

The Young Pacific Leaders Program is a U.S. government-funded initiative to strengthen leadership development and networking throughout the Pacific. The YPL program (formerly Future Leaders of the Pacific) was created in 2013, organizing annual conferences to bring together some of the region’s most talented youth for networking and skills development. This is the first year of the small grants initiative, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by Cultural Vistas.

The 2018 YPL Small Grants Program launched in January and was open to alumni from previous conferences. Alumni include young leaders, aged 20 to 35, from Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and the American-affiliated Pacific (Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa).

Visit yplgrants.org and follow along on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/YoungPacificLeaders/) and Instagram (WeAreYoungPacificLeaders) and #YPL for program updates.