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Seacology trip visits rebuilt Tonga community center

October 16, 2014

Our project on ‘Uiha Island, Tonga, suffered a major setback in January when the community center we had helped the Femelea community retrofit was leveled by Cyclone Ian, a Category 5 storm that ravaged Tonga and Fiji, among other Pacific islands. It was deemed that the entire structure was beyond repair and would have to be rebuilt from the ground up. Fortunately, Seacology was able to quickly mobilize the funding to make that happen.

We’re happy to report that thanks to the hard work of Felemea community volunteers, construction of the new Femelea center is already complete! According to Development Director Aaron Rashba and Board member Shari Sant Plummer, who attended a recent Seacology expedition to Tonga, the speed of progress on the facility was nothing short of incredible.

“When we got to Felemea, I was greeted by [volunteer project leader] Sione Masima who had paint spots all over his arms! The community hall was up and looking fantastic,” Aaron said. “A member of Parliament who represented Felemea led the dedication ceremony in the hall and his speech was very emotional. He spoke compellingly about the struggles Felemea had been through with the cyclone and how much it meant to have the community hall rebuilt.”