News Release

Lifting Students’ Experiences with Donated Furniture and other School Supplies

Excitement filled the air as trucks made their way to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ administration office near Nuku’alofa, Tonga, where Church leaders and officers of the government primary schools (GPS) gathered to receive donated school furniture and supplies, Friday 3 March 2023.

The Church and the Furniture for Schools (FFS) Charitable Trust in New Zealand have cooperated on efforts like this one in the past, providing similar assistance to schools in other villages of Tonga.

Silongo Samani, manager of welfare, self-reliance and humanitarian aid for the Church in Tonga, directed the delivery of these items as they were allocated to four schools from the villages of Popua, Lapaha, Havelu and Vaotu’u, on the Tongan island of Tongatapu.

Samani said the gift represents one of the basic tenets of the Church, that when others needs are met, then service to God is also given (Mosiah 2:17).

The donation included desks, chairs, bookcases, toilet paper, cartons of small water bottles and boxes of reading books. Samani explained that these items will accommodate at least two primary school classrooms in each location.

Mele Pulu, a representative from the Ministry of Education, said the government primary schools are in dire need of such resources. She thanked the Church of Jesus Christ and Furniture for Schools Charitable Trust for making the donations possible.

Pulu was joined in those sentiments by Cecilia Kaufusi, principal of Popua GPS, and Apolosi Tui'vai, chairman of the PTA of Popua GPS.

"We are grateful to the Church for this kindness and support of our local GPS school. The kids and staff will be so happy,” Tui’vai said.

Staff members and students from Lapaha GPS happily worked together to load their trucks with the donated furniture and supplies. Even with drizzling rainy weather conditions, their excitement and joy were not dampened.

Young school prefect

said he was grateful for the aid given to the schools. He said those on hand could feel the joy and excitement by the smiles and the happiness of those receiving the blessing of service to those in need.

Two teachers, Mr. Siosaia Lauti and Mr. Tevita Sili, came with students from Havelu GPS to load their truck with desks and chairs and other equipment. They, too, were grateful for the gift and remarked, "this is a lot of stuff!"

Local Church leader, Tevita Masipana Hikila, accompanied Lauti and Sili, and was grateful for the contributions to this school.

“It’s wonderful to witness the Lord’s work in action and feel and understand this joy, happiness and excitement with our youth, he said.

“May we continue to serve our fellow man and serve our Heavenly Father by doing so,” Hikila said.

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