A month in Tonga

Oct 17, 2018

This first stage of the Cyclone Gita response repairing 300 homes wouldn’t be possible without the support of the entire Habitat community, and especially volunteers like Sifa Pole (pictured above with some of the builders). As we come to the end of our 300 home repairs in Tonga, it is important to acknowledge all the important contributions that have been made.

The passion and commitment shown by Sifa is astounding. From Tonga himself, Sifa sought us out in February after hearing that Habitat for Humanity was launching a campaign to improve housing for 500 families in Tonga following the devastation of Cyclone Gita.

Sifa’s values aligned with our mission, telling us “home is very important. Without it you are a wanderer. Home is a form of security. Home is a place that is familiar to come back to, where people can feel secure.”

“We go to the houses, do an assessment of the damage, decide the best repair option, and then get on with it. It’s a bit of building work and a little bit of education for the homeowners as we go”

“It’s a chance for me to give back to my country. I’m proud of my heritage. New Zealand has been very good to my family and my people. It’s a huge burden on so many families in Tonga and we are helping them recover.”

Everyone has some way to contribute, to get involved, and to give back. For Sifa, it was taking his expertise as a senior engineer at Watercare and getting hands on. How will you get involved?

You could organise a fundraiser to support those those in Tonga. You could join a Global Village build, to also get hands on. Or, you could donate to help work towards the further 200 major repairs and rebuilds.