The government of Japan on Thursday committed a grant of USD 48,500 (MVR 727,500) to provide a minibus for the children's orphanage 'Fiyavathi' in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale.
Japan provided the grant under its Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects (GGP) scheme.
The agreement was signed between Ambassador of Japan to Maldives Keiko Yanai and Fiyavathi's CEO Zeena Gasim at a special ceremony held at Maagiri Hotel in capital Male City. Minister of State for Gender, Family and Social Services Aishath Rasheed was also in attendance.
According to the Embassy of Japan, the project aims to provide a vehicle to Fiyavathi to transfer children to school and medical facilities. The project, which is to be implemented with support from the Ministry of Gender, Family, and Social Services, will be completed within a year.
Speaking after the agreement signing, Ambassador Yanai said, "I am very hopeful that the grant contract will ensure easier access for Fiyavathi children to quality education and medical treatment."
Fiyavathi's CEO Zeena expressed gratitude to the Japanese government for the grant. She noted that while Fiyavathi currently housed over 100 children, they had to depend only on public transport.
"To have our own vehicle would great ease our burdens ... it will be used only for the children's needs", she said.
The GGP scheme is part of the Japanese ODA implemented by the Embassy of Japan in order to empower the people at the grassroots level. The GGP in Maldives, implemented in 1996, has since undertaken initiatives across various areas such as education, environment, health, transportation and energy. To date, 15 projects exceeding total USD 1.5 million have been implemented under the scheme.