Access program unlocks opportunities for 24 local youths

Twenty-four youths from Wakanisila community near Suva graduated today with new skills allowing them to compete for better academic and professional opportunities, thanks to a United States Government-funded English Access Microscholarship Program (Access Program).

They are part of approximately 150,000 students in more than 80 countries that have participated in the Access Program, a program which provides two years of intensive English language and leadership skills training.

U.S. Embassy Charge d’affaires (CDA) Tony Greubel congratulated the group, who are also Fiji’s first lot of graduates under the program, during a virtual graduation ceremony.  

“Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, your commitment to continuing your learning is commendable. In these unprecedented times, I also want to acknowledge the support and commitment of our implementing partner Vision Fiji, as well the Community leaders of Wakanisila, the Kalabu Primary School and the Access Teachers, for their role in making today’s graduation a reality.”

NGO Vision Fiji implemented the South Pacific’s first ever English Access Microscholarship Program in Fiji through a FJ$70,328 (US$32,409) grant.

To ensure the program complied with COVID-19 safety protocols, Regional Public Affairs Officer Stephanie Fitzmaurice, together with Vision Fiji representatives, presented Access graduates with their certificates in a drive-by graduation parade.   The “on-the-move” ceremony enabled the team to drop off graduation certificates at each student’s residence, with families present to witness the momentous occasion.  Each student also received a gift pack with reading resources and materials, along with small food baskets to assist their families and community.

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