Toys delight Tongan children
Tawa Rotary has declared its second annual Toys For Tonga project an ‘‘ outstanding success’’.
In a joint initiative with the Wellington South Rotary Club, 66 cartons of toys, stationery and educational books donated by people in Wellington’s northern suburbs were sent to Tonga on HMNZS Otago in May.
One of the co-ordinators, Paul Mears, said particular support for the project was received from churches and schools in Tawa, Linden and Churton Park, along with many individuals.
Distribution in Tonga was done by Rotary Club of Nuku’alofa.
‘‘The project was an outstanding success.
‘‘You had to be present on May 21 in Nuku’alofa to witness the pleasure on the faces of the children, collecting the toys and books and the gratitude expressed by the adults.
‘‘For anyone who has not been to Tonga [this was my first visit] it is hard to understand the conditions in which people live and children learn at school, compared to New Zealand,’’ he said.
‘‘This project brought home to me the invaluable work we do as Rotarians for those much less fortunate than us.’’
Mr Mears said Toys For Tonga demonstrated there are projects in which a large number of members are able to participate in ‘‘ a very practical and satisfying way’’.
‘‘ A significant number of people’’ had committed time and energy to the project, Mr Mears said.