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Tonga Cyclone Aid Appeal
Posted on February 11, 2014
Cyclone Ian, a Category 5 cyclone with wind gusts nearing 300 kph / 186 mph, ripped through the Pacific Island nation of Tonga this past weekend. An estimated 70% of homes and buildings on the tiny Ha'apai island group (population 8,000) were either damaged or destroyed, including the homes of members and staff of MicroDreams' partner, South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) Tonga. SPBD's Ha'apai branch office was also destroyed. An estimated 2,000 people remain in evacuation centers.
An effective response and recovery effort is needed quickly. People need temporary shelter, dry clean clothing, and proper drinking water. Then the long process of rebuilding needs to begin as soon as possible. Homes must be rebuilt, and a local economy made up of thousands of micro-enterprises also needs to be rebuilt.
As the only development organization with a permanent presence in Ha'apai, SPBD Tonga is in a unique position to help families that have been devastated. Many of those affected by the cyclone are SPBD clients. SPBD has been working in Tonga since 2009 and launched operations in Ha'apai in October 2012. We have worked with 7,000 poor families across Tonga to provide them with small business and financial literacy trainings, unsecured credit for micro-enterprise development, and ongoing guidance and motivation. We have helped them grow businesses, improve homes, and ensure their children receive a proper education. And we have helped them to save for the proverbial rainy day--whose time has, unfortunately, come.
Now it is time for us to do much more. Please donate and support our efforts at this time of enormous need.
SPBD Ha'apai office destroyed
SPBD head office and its staff have already donated food, water, clothes, and blankets. SPBD staff on Ha'apai have also started a detailed damage assessment of clients' homes and businesses.
MicroDreams will help fund SPBD Tonga's emergency home and business reconstruction financing efforts. These loan funds will be available to families in devastated villages to help them re-launch businesses that have been destroyed and to begin the process of rebuilding their livelihoods, homes, and lives.
Donations may be made to The MicroDreams Foundation by:
1. Please mail checks to:
o 60 Park Place, Suite 2100, Newark, NJ, USA, 07102 (U.S. and international donors)
o P.O. Box 33541, Takapuna, Auckland 0740 (New Zealand, Australia, South Pacific donors)
2. Donate online at http://www.microdreams.org/donate-today
MicroDreams will channel 100% of donations received to SPBD in Tonga to help with the recovery and reconstruction effort. Any amount, no matter how small is helpful and much appreciated. And please forward this note to any friends or colleagues that may also be interested in helping out.
All the very best,