Young Pacific Leaders’ Cook Islands alumni celebrated the initiative’s 10-year anniversary in Rarotonga on Saturday. Photo: Supplied/23120506
Grants of US$10,000 (NZ$16,239) are up for grabs for Cook Islands alumni of a Pacific youth leadership development programme, to design and implement projects which will help address issues in the region.
violence education, managing marine resources, and digital development were
among the ideas Young Pacific Leaders (YPL) alumni floated for the Small Grants
Programme during a gathering to celebrate the initiative’s 10-year anniversary
at the Lazy Trout Cafe in Rarotonga on Saturday.
alumni Maru Mariri-Tepou said grant applications opened on Friday and would
close on January 7, 2024.
successfully applied for the grant in 2021, using the $16,239 in funding to run
the Youth Empowerment Development Programme.
was part of the first and only Cook Islands team to receive the grant.
you can only apply once – but I would like to help out fresh alumni with
the gathering, they were all asking for my experience.
you get the grant, you need to have a project that lasts six months and it has
to be a team of three. They are flown into Auckland for training on how to use
the funding, and then one person goes back to Auckland to give a report on how
grant was established by the United States Department of State, for alumni of
its YPL initiative to launch projects in their communities related to the
pillars of education, environment and resource management, civic leadership,
and economic and social development.
said about 25 young Cook Islanders had been part of YPL since it began in 2013.
alumni spread around the world – from those who live in Atiu, Aitutaki, and New
Zealand, to those who represented the country at the Pacific Games in Solomon
Islands and the United Arab Emirates for the United Nations Climate Change
Conference (COP28) – nine people attended Saturday’s gathering.
whole idea behind the gathering over the weekend was to find out who the alumni
are, meet one another to share our experiences, and forge a new network,”
passionately shared their journeys, challenges, honest feedback, goals, and
commitment to giving back to our beloved Cook Islands.”
who had attended five YPL events since getting involved with the initiative in
2019, said it was “easy” to sign up.
encourage more of our youth to keep their eye out for these opportunities and
YPL programme is open to people aged 25 to 40 from more than 20 Pacific Islands
nations, with a goal of building relationships between young government, civic,
and business leaders to address challenges and expand opportunities in the
opportunities are posted to nz.usembassy.gov/young-pacific-leaders/ as well as
to the initiative’s Facebook and Instagram pages.