Save the Children appeal

When a Covid-19 outbreak last year forced schools to close in Tonga, Elysa (7, left) and Selena ...
When a Covid-19 outbreak last year forced schools to close in Tonga, Elysa (7, left) and Selena (6) studied using remote learning materials developed by the Tongan Ministry of Education and Training and Save the Children, supported by the Global Partnership for Education. PHOTO: PATIMIOSI NGUNGUTAU
Save the Children New Zealand has launched an emergency appeal to raise funds for children and their families in Tonga affected by the recent volcanic eruption.

At least three people have been killed and more than 50 homes destroyed following the recent eruption of an underwater volcano near Tonga. Many parts of the South Pacific archipelago have been cut off from all communication.

Save the Children New Zealand chief executive Heidi Coetzee said money raised would go towards providing cash support for families.

"As one of our closest Pacific neighbours, we stand with Tonga and ask New Zealanders to please give generously to our appeal," Ms Coetzee said.

The eruption emitted a plume of ash, steam and gas, which rose about 20km above the volcano and blanketed parts of the country in ash and smoke.

In addition to concerns for the welfare of families who lost their homes, there is an immediate threat to the health of children and their parents due to ash pollution in drinking water.

In Tonga, Save the Children supports the Ministry of Education in the delivery of a $A1million ($NZ1.07million) distance learning programme to connect outlying islands and remote populations.

Save the Children’s emergency response would work to ensure children could access education and safe spaces, Ms Coetzee said.

Visit to give.

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter