This is my friend Polly. Polly has been working hard for the past year teaching Tongans out in the villages how to swim and training new swimming teachers.
Unfortunately, the funding for this program has come to an end for now, but these Swimming Officers were offered an amazing professional development opportunity to finish off their time working on this program. This was to be two weeks of training in all things swimming and aquatics in Melbourne and they had been looking forward to it for months.
Sadly, on the second day of the training, Polly became really unwell and had to be admitted to hospital for two nights. Luckily she was able to get the treatment she needed and is now doing well but her family has been left with an AUD$1960 medical bill to be paid by the 8th August. Through a misunderstanding on the Swimming Association and organisers part, Polly had no travel insurance.
This money would be a challenge for most low-income earners to come up with on short notice, even in Australia, but almost impossible for Polly's family here in Tonga. A 'good' job in Tonga earns well under AUD$10k per year, that's if you're lucky enough to have a good steady job, which a lot aren't.
Most Australian and New Zealand volunteers would remember Polly and her family and how generous and welcoming they are to the volunteer community - dressing everyone up in Tongan outfits, taking us to church and hosting us for a traditional Tongan lunch for starters. You would also know how difficult it would be for her family to come up with this amount of money.
Through no fault of her own, Polly has ended up with this bill and a small donation from an Australian/NZ point of view could really help them in a difficult situation. Please consider forgoing a coffee or two and helping a very deserving family who are having a really tough time.
- vicky wallace
- Anna Funaki Faleafa
- Reimen Hii
- Michelle Boner
- Pulu Anau