Newington College has launched a major relief effort for its brother school Tupou College, which suffered major infrastructure damage when Cyclone Gita hit Tonga last week.
A 20-foot shipping container will arrive at Newington this week, and the call has gone out to families and community to fill it by donating much-needed materials to help Tupou College rebuild.
Tupou College – like much of its community – only has power for a few hours each day from borrowed diesel generators, and suffered significant damage to classrooms and accommodation. Roofing, generators, batteries, hand torches, food and teaching resources are among items most urgently needed.
Two Newington teachers – Mary Nosworthy and Klarissa Stellmacher – on secondment to Tupou have moved out of their accommodation until repairs can be completed.
Newington College has a close and enduring relationship with Tonga. The late King George Taufa’ahau IV studied at the school’s Stanmore campus, and Newington currently has eight Tongan bursary students at its Cambridge Street boarding house.
Newington College headmaster Dr David Mulford said it was a relief to know colleagues, Old Boys and Tupou staff and students were safe and well.
“Tupou now faces an enormous challenge in rebuilding,” he said.
“It is a self-sufficient school that supplies food for more than 800 students from its working farm, but its crops have been destroyed by Cyclone Gita.
“The Newington community has supported Tupou with science equipment, books, IT gear and much more over the years, and will do whatever we can to help in such a devastating time.”
Newington has offered an annual Service Learning Tour to Tupou College for 30 boys each year since 2010, and boys threw their efforts into fundraising for Tupou last week, holding a barbecue that raised more than $6000 toward the cost of purchasing and shipping the container. Tongan students sang as part of the event.
For more information about the appeal, contact Mr Cameron Quince on firstname.lastname@example.org