AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY PROVIDES BASIC EDUCATION TO AETA KIDS
Australian Embassy Third Secretary Matthew Harrison engages the young Aetas in a storytelling session on Australia’s indigenous animal, the kangaroo, during an ocular visit to check the progress of a Direct Aid Program-assisted project in Brgy Bangkal, Abucay, Bataan. Deputy Head of Mission Stephen Scott was also present to lead the handover of educational materials, donated by Australian Embassy staff, to the Aeta school kids.
In 2004, DAP assisted in the construction of a two-classroom school building and the purchase of classroom equipment to provide the Aeta community with access to education facilities. “The assistance helps address the education needs of the children. It provides them the foundation for a productive future,” said Mr Scott.
The handover is part of the Embassy’s NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) celebration which recognises the history, culture and achievements of the Aboriginal and the Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“Australia is a multicultural society and like the Philippines, has an indigenous population. We believe that equal opportunities should be given to everyone, regardless of color, background and race,” said Mr Scott. The Australian Government, since 2002, has provided as estimated A$3.8 million support to the country’s Indigenous Peoples through AusAID’s Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) Program.
The Direct Aid Program supports small-scale developmental projects that directly contribute to the welfare and income-generating capacity of disadvantaged groups in the Philippines. For information on how to apply for DAP funding, please contact the DAP Resource Officer, Australian Embassy, Level 23 Tower 2 RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Avenue, Makati City. Telephone number (02) 757 8262.