News Release

School Furniture: A Birthday Present for Tonga

On 22nd April in downtown Sydney approximately 100 men from five Tongan congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New South Wales gathered at the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) building to begin the huge task of preparing furniture to be shipped to schools and government offices in Tonga.

This project was especially meaningful to the workers enabling them to contribute to their home nation and bless the lives of those in Tonga. 


The furniture has all been donated by PWC and Edge Environment to Furniture for Schools (Australia), a charity that works closely with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for initiatives such as this. The donation will provide supplies to the Education and Health Departments as well as a number schools in Tonga.

Under the direction of volunteer Church leader Siosifa Tokelau from the Liverpool Australia Stake (Diocese), wearing the distinguishable yellow Helping Hands vests were organised into three different teams, tasked with dismantling the furniture, packing and labelling everything, and then moving the furniture from the nineteen floors to the loading dock. 

 The team at the loading dock then loaded each item into the six shipping containers where they were transferred onto a barge and sent to Tonga. President Tokelau expressed, “I'm looking forward to working with Church leaders and organisations who wish to support this great and amazing project for our Tongan people. This will bless many lives in the Kingdom of Tonga.”


The school furniture from Sydney arrived on Friday 2nd June on the shores of Nuku ‘alofa, Tonga. The containers were unloaded and distributed by eager volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint in Tonga, led by Service Centre Manager Garrick Parr.

Deputy Prime Minister Hon Siaosi Sovaleni represented the Tongan Government to take receipt of the donation. He expressed his great appreciation and eagerness to receive the donation, stating that “many Government Ministries are excited about receiving these quality items!” A portion of the furniture was immediately transported to a Government School that was celebrating a birthday.

Minister Siaosi Sovaleni also expressed gratitude to everyone who had been involved in this project, from those that worked tirelessly in Sydney to prepare the shipment to those in Tonga that helped receive, unload and distribute the shipment. He gratefully remarked, “The furniture couldn’t have come at a better time.”



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