By Gary Hatigeva
PERMANENT Secretary for the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Andrew Nihopara has acknowledge Australia’s continued support to Solomon Islands especially in the development of the Melanesian Arts and Crafts Festival 2018 (MACFest)’s website, something he described as timely and adds value to an unbudgeted item, which he creates an outcome with “high impact and low cost”.
“This has saved the government time and money, thanks again to the voluntary programme,” Nihopara added.
The Permanent Secretary expressed this during the launch of the MAC Fest website yesterday where he also acknowledged the Australian government through its voluntary programme, the Australian Volunteer International (AVI), which made it possible for a specialised personnel to be engaged in the initiative.
AVI’s Ashanti Fowler who was engaged to develop the site impressed both government and festival committee officials for her work done and the creative features that appear on the site, making what looks too simple very attractive, fancy and browser friendly at the same time.
The Australian volunteer came to Solomon Islands under the AVI programme to develop a website for the Culture division within the Ministry, but without wasting what the ministry described as a timely opportunity, they arranged for her (Ms Fowler) to also work on the Festival’s site to allow for the local organising committee to inform and update not only participating cultures but also educate the global public about the festival and what it has to offer.
The Australian funded volunteer programme has been engaged in many positive development aspects of both the private and public sectors in Solomon Islands and have also been heavily involved in development activities of local communities throughout the country.