Trinity students awarded University grant for Samoan volunteer initiative

Project Poutasi, a new volunteer project established by Trinity students, has received a $5,000 grant from the University of Melbourne.

Project Poutasi aims to raise education standards in Poutasi, a low-socioeconomic village in Samoa devastated by a tsunami in 2009 that killed many and destroyed the local school.

Concerned students Taylor Callaghan (2nd year Environments), Alex Mitchell (2nd year Environments) and Resident Tutor Kate Crowhurst founded the initiative last year. This year other Trinity students have joined the cause, expanding the project to a group of 10.

The volunteers will travel to Poutasi in September to provide the village school with learning resources, school curriculum and professional development for teachers.

‘The school in Poutasi severely lacks many valuable learning resources,' Taylor said.

'Students sit their final examinations in English, but sadly their comprehension of English is poor. Imagine sitting exams in a language you do not fully understand.'

The project will also develop scholarship links with schools and universities in the region.

The University of Melbourne grant will directly benefit Poutasi and enable one student to attend university in Samoa.

‘It's important we contribute and create partnerships with Asia-Pacific communities and ensure that everyone has access to opportunities through education,’ Kate said.

Students will also visit the New Zealand and Australian consulates in Samoa to learn about diplomacy, international relations and aid distribution in the Pacific region.

The founders hope that the initiative will become an annual Trinity student-run project.

For more information, please contact Taylor Callaghan


26 Jun 2013
Category: Learning