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New Aid Agency established to help Tongans

23 February 2018

New Aid Agency established to help Tongans affected by Cyclone Gita

A new aid agency has been set up to help with the rebuild in Tonga after Cyclone Gita damaged homes and left thousands without power on February 13th.

Affirming Works (AW), who has been providing mentoring services to Pacific communities in New Zealand and Tonga for more than 15 years is leading the charge to unite, collaborate and rebuild Tonga through a new initiative called #TAGTONGA.

Since 2015, AW in partnership with NIUPacH (New Indigenous Unity of Pacific Humanitarians) has provided the Tongan government with access to information on disaster risk management, resilience and preparedness.

NIUPacH operates the Joint Centre for Disaster Research (JCDR) in the Pacific and is based in the School of Psychology at Massey University. It is a research collective focusing on Pacific indigenous disaster risk management, resilience and humanitarian response.

#TAGTONGA is an aid initiative which will provide a direct donor option for those in New Zealand wanting to make a monetary donation to family and friends affected by Cyclone Gita.

Affirming Works founder, Emeline Afeaki-Mafile’o says #TAGTONGA is an organic community-led aid response to the crisis in Tonga. We want to keep the process simple and credible, so we are asking people to fill in a manual form when they “tag” or specify a family, a certain village and or the purpose of any monetary donation through a specific cause or project. The initiative enables people living in New Zealand or abroad the opportunity to determine the destination and purpose of their donation.

“We understand through our experience and partnership with NIUPacH that complex humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters are becoming more severe and frequent, but peoples in the Pacific have continued to work towards resilience in the face of these challenging times. We as Pacific communities rally organically in response to crises of humanity.”

“King Tupou VI has encouraged Tongans to unite and collaborate saying we can accomplish much when we work together and use the opportunity of life to give back to our country. This is one way our two organisations can do exactly that,” says Afeaki-Mafile’o.

“We will also provide evidence of direct spending and provide an accountability report to our aid partners which is an important aspect of making a donation.”

Affirming Works has also set up a ‘Givealittle’ page – ‘#TAGTONGA Tag a Purpose’ to provide an avenue for those wanting to help out in Tonga now. #TAGTONGA Tag a Purpose via https://givealittle.co.nz/org/affirming-works-limited.

AW has organised donation bins at Fale Kofi Otahuhu and the Community Café in Mangere and will host a series of fundraising events. The first event was a Hula/Ori Fitness session on Thursday 22nd February 2018 at the Mangere Arts Centre.

#TAGTONGA will go live from Friday 23rd February 2018, with people able to make donations at any of the Affirming Works’ Café sites


ends

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