Rising from the ashes

With debris from the recent fire that destroyed the Waan Aelon in Majel workshop and main office as a backdrop, Australian Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Katrina Murray hands over a $20,000 donation to WAM Deputy Director Tony Alik. Photo: Eve Burns.

EVE BURNS

Waan Aelon in Majel (WAM) suffered a devastating fire recently that destroyed its office and workshops.

In an outpouring of solidarity with WAM, local and international donors from every direction have put up their hands to help with the reconstruction.

Monday this week, Australia joined other donors to support WAM rebuilding efforts through their Direct Aid Program. WAM’s Deputy Director Tony Alik met with Deputy Chief of Mission of the Australian Embassy Katrina Murray to receive a grant of $20,000. Tony and Katrina talked about the important work that WAM is doing for the community.

“The Australian Embassy was devastated to hear about the fire at WAM. We know what an important organization they are right across the Marshall Islands,” said Katrina. She also added “I’m so pleased Australia is able to support WAM in its reconstruction efforts. WAM is not only going to return, but it looks like it will be better than ever. I am proud Australia has been able to respond so quickly, working alongside fellow donors and partners here in Majuro, to help continue WAM’s important work.”

Alik said that Majuro Atoll Local Government has already offered its support to the program. “We’re hoping that with this grant along with MALGov’s contribution, the GIZ program’s support that we’ll get something going by June,” said Tony. “With some of the donations we received locally and also from international friends, our staff has actually started rebuilding some of the offices in the building that only partly burned,” he added.

“The way we view it, it was only the building that was burned. WAM didn’t burn at all,” he said. Alik express thanks to the Australian government and gave a tour of WAM to Katrina.

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