A nearly ten-year long struggle to set up a respite care facility in the Cook Islands is now a reality with aid from Japan.
The mental health group, Te Kainga O Pa Taunga, has been aiming to set up the facility to relieve caregivers in Rarotonga.
Earlier this week, the Japanese diplomat, Kiyo Rokutanda, handed over a cheque for about 120,000 US dollars.
The Te Kainga founder and trustee Mereana Taikoko says in 2004 she submitted a proposal to government for funding to build a respite centre to ease the load on caregivers tending around the clock to family members.
She says initially the organisation had funding for a respite worker, and eventually was able to rent a hall for three days a week, but with the Japanese grant they can build a proper facility.