His Excellency Mr. Tetsuya Ishii, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Tonga congratulated the completion of the project at a hand over ceremony attended by His Eminence Bishop Soane Patita Cardinal Mafi. Lord Sevele ‘o Vailahi also attended the event along with Ms. Nancy Gehron, Country Director of US Peace Corps, Mr. Soane Vahe, Director of the Catholic Schools, Representatives from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Executive Members of the Parents and Teachers Association for St. Francis of Assisi, Teachers, Parents and the current students of the school.
“Support towards Education has always been placed highly on Japan’s priority list, as we believe Education is the base for developing a child’s capability and also a nation’s capacity,” reiterated the Ambassador at the ceremony. He was happy that St, Francis of Assisi has a close relationship with Japan especially in the teaching of soroban skills to students, and becoming one of the outstanding schools in the Annual Soroban Competition in previous years.
“I hope each of the student of St. Francis of Assisi will grow into a strong and responsible individual to uphold Tonga’s future societies. Please treasure your time with your friends and teachers and I am glad to have been able to assist you in having a fruitful time here by upgrading the school infrastructure, and also by providing a safe facility for sanitation,” said Ambassador Tetsuya Ishii.
His Eminence, Cardinal Mafi thanked the Ambassador for the significant assistance providing a better and safer educational environment for the young students of St. Francis of Assisi. The Parents and Teachers Association of St. Francis sought for Japan’s assistance to accommodate the growing number of students enrolled, since 2010. Japan’s assistance was formalized in March this year, with a grant amount of USD$73,965 to fund construction of a new classroom building with two rooms to be used by the class 5 and 6 students. A new toilet block was also constructed in this Project.
Japan’s GGP was introduced in 1990 to respond directly to the basic human needs at the grass-roots level. The assistance epitomized Japan’s commitment to support efforts by the people and the Government of Tonga to ensure Human Security and continue to enrich the existing warm and close relations between the people and the Government of Japan and the people of the Kingdom of Tonga.
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