UniFiji Contributes Towards Tonga Disaster Donation Drive

The University of Fiji stands in solidarity with the King and People of Tonga after the recent volcanic eruption.

The University of Fiji has pledged its solidarity with the King and People of Tonga in their proud efforts to recover from the recent cataclysmic event that nearly destroyed so much of the Tongan landscape.

Staff and Students of the University came together to discuss how best to assist their Tongan neighbours and, at the same time, respecting their need for sovereign autonomy and health safety.

The University decided that the best way to assist was to respond to the needs about which the Tongan people had themselves informed the Fijian Government and to facilitate their requests in a spirit of understanding and sensitivity.

The Student Association of the University of Fiji (UFSA) took the initiative to facilitate a 2-day donation drive last week.

Staff and students of the University not only made generous donations but UFSA filled the gaps in the list and used its own funds to purchase the much-needed items on the Fiji Government list that had been issued publicly.

“It was heartening to see the students coming forward to support this initiative with whatever they could knowing that our brothers and sisters in our neighboring nation were suffering,” said the UFSA Acting President, Ms. Maca Ratabua, a MBBS student.

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Fiji, Professor Shaista Shameem said that the effort was as much the University could do given the strong sense of Tongan independence and resilience. “We are there to support whatever they would like and they only have to ask”, she said. Professor Shameem said all nations dealt with their natural disasters their own way and the University of Fiji respected their wishes and requests.

The Tongan community will receive the University of Fiji delegation in Suva.