Who We Are
MALO is represented by Tongan community members of the City of Ontario, located in the Inland Empire. As an under-served and underrepresented subgroup of Pacific Islanders, this new nonprofit is lead by and for Tongan Americans striving for self-determination as an organization. MALO is taking action towards the positive change they would like to see in their long time community of Ontario, as well as throughout the Inland Empire. MALO works to create connections to their long time community and share culture with others in hopes of also keeping the Tongan culture alive with in the community.
By motivating actions, through leadership and creating opportunities, MALO will continue developing ways to share about the beautiful culture of Tonga. MALO shares readings in the Tongan language, shares about traditional arts, as well as performing arts. This positive change in the community starts with the common desire of all community members near and far to keep culture alive and be sure we as Tongan/Tongan-American do not lose who we are.
We are proudly supported by the Ontario First United Methodist Church, where we host several of our programs.
Efforts to support the Tongan community in the Inland Empire started decades before MALO was established. After the United States passed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, many more Tongans were able to immigrate and establish new lives for themselves. However, there were and still are many systemic barriers against Tongans, like language access and citizenship status. Within the Inland Empire, established families hosted people recently immigrated from Tonga and supported them until they could get onto their feet. The Soakai family hosted events to help would-be-citizens fill out their immigration paperwork.
MALO is continuing this grassroots work to provide for the Tongan families in the Inland Empire. We are committed to fostering the reciprocal relationships of our community and maintaining our cultural ties to Tonga. We want to give better educational opportunities to students and help make our families’ day-to-day lives easier.