In April, OCIT and International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched the Ao Kapijuknen Project, with funding from the U.S Embassy. The funding was tagged to assist the creation of more women – led projects throughout the Republic of the Marshall Islands, acknowledging that limited socio-economic opportunities is a significant barrier in transforming the lives of women and girls in the RMI.
In response to this need, the Ao Kapijuknen is a women-led domestic tourism program that provides training and seed funding for those interested in developing a domestic tourism activity within Majuro, Arno, Likiep and Mili. The project will target women and girls, men and boys to promote understanding on the barriers that gender discrimination places on community development as well as the opportunities available for a more sustainable future. In doing so, it acknowledges that removing gender discrimination is fundamental to sustainable development in the RMI.
IOM partnered with OCIT to coordinate with applicants, mayors and locals for site visits. The marketing of the project in relation to recruitment of applicants is the responsibility of OCIT as they are the focal point for tourism in the RMI.
As part of the feasibility study, the IOM and OCIT teams have visited eight potential tourism sites in Majuro, three potential sites in Arno, one on Likiep Atoll as well Mili Atoll. Next steps for the project will be conducting a market study which, together with the site visits, will be used for the shortlisting of the applications for the announcement of two winners in mid-September for this seed funding.
Image Caption: RMI IOM and OCIT teams during one of their site visits for the Ao Kapijuknen Project: Likiep Atoll
Image Credit: RMI Office of Commerce, Investment and Tourism