Civil Society Forum Tonga (CSFT) hosted the Aotearoa Tonga Relief Committee (ATRC) at the Tonga National Youth Congress Office at Sopu ‘o Taufa’ahau on the 8th of December, 2022. This is to handover ATRC’s donation of 5,000 footwear to key schools affected during Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai (HTHH), in Tonga.
Aotearoa Tonga Relief Committee started with a family-to-family relief, in response to the HTHH volcanic eruption. They shipped in 60+ containers of relief items from families in New Zealand, for free. Additional containers were sent via Government of Tonga, which gifts from the Millionaire, including boats, tractors and forklifts. It’s anticipated that the remaining 3 forklifts could come via MV ‘Otuangaofa, which is currently in Auckland.
This is their 90th container, and last one for Tonga, in response to the HTHH volcanic eruption and Covid-19 outbreak earlier this year. Mr. Maka Pailate of Ha’ateiho Tongatapu, leads ATRC delegation accompanying the container of footwear. He is also a Board Member of the Friends of Tonga (Returned Peace Corps from Tonga), which is a partner of CSFT and a member of the Humanitarian Hub. It was through that link that Civil Society Forum of Tonga (CSFT) Humanitarian Hub was selected to be the local contacts to help distribute the footwear. CSFT will also be responsible for collation of beneficiary data for ATRC reporting back to Donors.
In partnership with CSFT, ATRC is hoping to successfully close this chapter of humanitarian aid for HTHH before the next natural disaster occurs. Delegation of ARTC includes Mr Maka Pailate, Soana Muimuieata, Rev ‘Ikilifi Pope and Havelulahi, were here in person, to present these donations. Receiving the donation on behalf of CSFT Humanitarian Hub was the Chairman of the Board of Director, – Drew Havea, Secretary General of Tonga Red Cross, Mr, Sione Taumoefolau, Executive Director of CARITAS Tonga, Mrs. Suliana Falemaka, FWC Tekina ‘i Moana, Rev. Sione Misinale and other representatives from the Civil Societies.