HPF’s Executive Director, Sione Tu’itahi co-led a community initiative that resulted in almost 4000 Tongans vaccinated over three days in Mangere, South Auckland last week.
“Our Tongan community tapped into its own wisdom and capacity and the results were amazing,” Sione said. “Reciprocity and collaborating with love and unity to serve our collective wellbeing were some of the crucial elements that enabled us to achieve the task.”
The Tongan Interfaith Leadership network, cooperated with two Tongan/Pacific health providers – Tongan Health and Society and The Fono – and other community groups, along with Tongan medical and health professionals, and mobilised the community to work together.
“Lots of great learning that can be replicated with some adaptations to other contexts and groups, said Sione who was the chair of the working committee for the Malu’I Ma’a Tonga (MMT) vaccination campaign.
A Tongan church site was converted into a “Tongan village” with the culturally appropriate environment with an all-Tongan professional and cultural workforce, welcoming and serving their community.
(Banner photo: Sione with the CEO of The Fono Tevita Funaki and the Rev Tevita Finau, Chair of Tongan Interfaith Leadership Network)