Project to help deaf people in Pacific gets US funding

DEAR EDITOR, a news bulletin on Radio New Zealand on Monday this week said a youth-led project to empower deaf communities in the Pacific region had been granted US funding to further their need for equality.

The particular capacity building project is aimed at assisting deaf communities in both Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

One of the project leaders, Krishneer Sen, said their research project would help ensure people with disabilities could exercise their rights, so no one would be left behind in society.

The pair received US funding from the Pacific Youth Leadership grant.

Having the needs of deaf persons in the Solomon Islands in mind, I was interested to learn more about the US sponsored Young Pacific Grant scheme and this is what I discovered by some internet searching.

I quote.

“WASHINGTON – Twelve winners have been announced for the U. S. Department of State’s 2018 Young Pacific Leaders (YPL) Small Grants Program. The selected teams, representing 11 different Pacific countries, will receive up to $13,750 in grant-funding to implement projects in the region related to the program’s core themes of education, environment and resource management, civic leadership, and economic and social development.

“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 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).”

“2018 Young Pacific Leaders Small Grants Program Awardees:

Kaitiaki Generation

New Zealand and Hawaii

A collaborative exchange between Māori and Kanaka ʻŌiwi communities on traditional knowledge and western science.

Documenting Traditional Knowledge through Digital Media

The Cook Islands

Webseries documenting Cook Islands Māori traditional knowledge and importance of indigenous culture for future generations.

Youth-4-Change Mentoring Program

The Federated States of Micronesia

Youth leadership and mentorship training program to help young peer leaders provide for at-risk youths in Micronesian communities.

Project Sechelik


To promote literacy and indigenous language in Palau by publishing and distributing an original colorful children’s book written in Palauan.

Training in Jolly Phonics

Papua New Guinea

Providing skills-based training to elementary school teachers in the Kerowagi District of Chimbu Province, Papua New Guinea.

Community Building and Engagement for Deaf Persons

Fiji and Papua New Guinea

Enhancing deaf peoples’ opportunity to be an equal citizen in their society through community empowerment, civic leadership, and training.

Sustainable Livelihood Project


Training farmers in Wairuarua Village to develop, implement, and further sustainable livelihoods through permaculture and traditional farming methods.

Removal of Sargassum Seaweed


Community engagement and environmental clean-up initiative to remove invasive seaweed species and improve coral reef health.



A cultural heritage workshop focusing on Samoan architecture and working to bridge the gaps in generational knowledge.

Malasitabu Project


Supporting Malasitabu Primary School through classroom infrastructure development, promoting healthy lifestyles and education on waste management.

Language Roots the Tree of Culture


A cultural bridge between Niuean youth in-country and those living overseas to promote and preserve cultural heritage.

Early Literacy- Let’s Read


Early literacy initiative targeting children under the age of three.”

The Solomon Islands has many young, talented leaders already involved in the kind of projects for which US Embassy grants have been awarded this year and in past years, so I would strongly encourage those young leaders to prepare their own projects and to bid for grants the next time around.

The contact details are: US Embassy, US Embassy Majuro, Mejen WEto, Ocean Side, Majuro, Marshall Islands. Phone +692-247-4011. Fax     +692-247-4012



Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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