How to help Tonga: charities and initiatives you can donate to

By MiNDFOOD

How to help Tonga: charities and initiatives you can donate to
As new details emerge following the shocking eruption in Tonga, a number of funding initiatives have been set up to support the nation's recovery. 

On 14 January 2022, Tonga experienced one of the worst natural disasters in the Pacific, with the undersea Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai volcano erupting and a subsequent Tsunami.

Since the eruption, communications have been down in the Pacific island nation, due to a broken undersea cable and many families have struggled to get in touch with their loved ones on the ground.

A New Zealand Defence Force aircraft has arrived in the nation’s capital, bringing food, water, communications equipment and emergency supplies. Images have shown buildings and streets covered in volcanic ash and so far, three people have been confirmed to have died.

Tonga relief funds: where to donate

While many people will want to donate, it’s important to look for verified organisations and international charities to send money to.

Labour MPs Jenny Salesa and ‘Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki are leading the Aotearoa Tonga Relief Committee to collect supplies, such as water bottles and non-perishable foods, to ship over to Tonga. They are currently set up at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium. Check the Aotearoa Tonga Relief Committee Facebook page for the latest updates.

The New Zealand Red Cross has set up a Pacific Tsunami Appeal to assist Tonga and other Pacific Island nations affected by the disaster. The Tonga Red Cross are on the ground and the organisation says donations go towards “providing access to safe and clean drinking water due to saltwater inundation caused by tsunami waves and ashfall from the eruption. Shelter is also a concern, particularly for those communities near the coast line.”

Caritas Aotearoa is a Catholic agency that works with Caritas Tonga to provide emergency supplies to Tongans in need. You can donate through the Pacific Relief Fund.

Oxfam Aotearoa is working with the Tonga National Youth Council, Tonga National Council of Churches (TNCC), Ma’a Fafine mo e Famili Inc. (MFF), and Tonga Leitis Association to provide disaster relief, namely safe drinking water. You can donate to Oxfam’s Tonga relief here.

Many individuals and local businesses have set up crowdfunding pages. Tongan athlete Pita Taufatofua has created a Go Fund Me page. “Initial priority for the funds will go towards those most in need, infrastructure and damage to schools, hospitals etc.”

Heilala Vanilla has set up a donation page and will be “liaising with various agencies and partners on the ground in Tonga to provide assistance where most needed.”

Former All Black Malakai Fekitoa has also started a Go Fund Me page. At the time of writing, Fekitoa hasn’t been in contact with his mother who lives in the island of Ha’apai.

For a full list of charities that are supporting Tonga’s disaster relief, visit the Council for International Development website.

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