On Wednesday, November 4, 2020, His Excellency, KARASAWA Akira, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan in Palau, formally handed over two brand new 15 seater micro buses to Melekeok and Ngaremlengui Head Start Centers respectively. The handing over ceremony for “The Project for Procurement of School Buses to Head Start Centers” was held at Melekeok Head Start Center, and was attended by officials from Palau Community Action Agency.
Through Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP), grant two new 15 seater micro buses and spare tires were purchased in the total cost of $79,917.
The Buses that Melekeok and Ngaremlengui Head Start Centers uses are deteriorated due to the heavy usage of over 10 years and also poor road condition since each bus had to run across 3 states where their students reside. As a result, the buses often need to be repaired, and the centers were unable to provide transportation for their students. This issue results of a drop in the attendance at each center. And what is worse, students had to stay in buses without air conditions during their bus ride that ranges from 90 to 120 minutes and this was many parents and staff concerns for students’ health.
In his remarks in the ceremony, Ambassador Karasawa stated that this grant will contribute to solve the current issues. The brand new buses with air conditions will comfort children while they commute and enhance their health conditions. Furthermore, he expressed his hope that two centers will be able to provide a safe and reliable transportation and that leads to enhancing the function of the centers and improving welfare of families and their children in Palau.
The Government of Japan launched GGP in 1999, for the purpose of responding to various development needs engaged in grassroots activities in Palau. As of November 4, 2020, the Embassy has signed 83 grant contracts with schools and hospitals as well as state governments and non-profit organizations. Education, health care and environment are the primary fields prioritized by Japan for GGP in order to contribute to sustainable development of Palau. For further information about GGP, please contact 488-6455 or visit the Embassy of Japan’s GGP website at https://www.palau.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/about_ggp.html .

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