In an effort to remedy the devastation caused by the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcanic eruption on January 15, 2022, the Tonga Relief Support of America (TRSA) was created. A collaborative effort between MALO, Vakatasi, the MANA Learning Community at the College of San Mateo (CSM), Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC), National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), and other various kinds of organizations, TRSA aims to provide direct mutual aid to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working on the ground in Tonga to help assist those most impacted. Funds donated support the response, recovery, and reconstruction of the Kingdom of Tonga, particularly the areas heavily impacted.
TRSA has specifically partnered with Mainstreaming of Rural Development Innovation (MORDI) –– an NGO aiming to improve and sustain the livelihoods of the rural communities of Tonga, a particularly vulnerable group. MORDI was on the frontlines in terms of safely providing transportation for folks on impacted islands, as well as transporting necessities for survival such as clean drinking water. TRSA will support the needs identified by MORDI in their assessment reports, such as operational costs, equipment, and raw building materials. The work that MORDI does is essential to supporting those most impacted, especially given the additional problems and stressors caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Alongside collaborating on the creation of TRSA, MALO, Vakatasi, CSM, EPIC, and NCAPA drafted and sent a letter to the White House. The letter and subsequent press release urged the Biden administration to release a statement of acknowledgment of the situation in Tonga and to take part in providing aid to the Kingdom of Tonga. This letter garnered lots of support from non-profit and community organizations in the Asian American and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander space.
To visit the TRSA website: click here
To see the press release: click here