HUNTER River High School (HRHS) students have been participating in a unique collection of goods, destined for a special school in the Kingdom of Tonga.
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Sione Finefeuiaki, a retired Knights and NRL player, has been working with the HRHS students to collect items to assist him in an organisation he has founded.
Sione’s Academy & Pathways is a not for profit registered organisation, where volunteers travel to the Kingdom of Tonga each October to work with the schools and villages.
HRHS joined forces with Sione and this week packed a truck full of their collected goods.
The Academy’s mission is to give the people of Tonga an opportunity to excel in sport and to assist with their wellbeing.
A trip in October 2018 will focus on Rugby League, Rugby Union, Netball, Soccer and Athletics.
They will run coaching clinics in all the schools and villages and the schools have also requested that they ‘teach the teacher’, so that the great work can continue after this visit.
Sione will have 54 volunteers travelling with him this October, some of whom are tradesmen, doctors, nurses, teachers, coaches and everyday people just willing to come with him and make a difference.
While the sports coaching is taking place, his tradesmen will work on fixing the classrooms in Kolonga Public School.
This school is in need of urgent repair.
There are holes in the roof, no glass in the windows, walls are either mouldy or falling in and the watering system is poor. Children sit on the floor with no desks or chairs.
With this in mind, Sione’s Academy have been seeking assistance by way of donations to help rebuild this school.
Each year his Academy take gifts to give to the schools and villages.
These consist of sporting uniforms, books, computers, clothes , shoes , toys, toothpaste, old computers, whiteboards and basically anything you can think of.
HRHS set a goal to give to each of the 150 students of Kolonga Public School (Sione’s own Primary school), a bag containing everything they would need for returning to school.
Each bag consisted of: writing books, a pencil case, coloured pens, lead pencils, an eraser, a pencil sharpener, glue, highlighters, a ruler, a calculator, coloured pencils and textas, a water bottle, a reading book, a colouring book or puzzle book, a reading book, a handball and a little surprise or toy. KPS was devastated by a hurricane in February of this year, with the school being totally destroyed. Kerrie Howells from Hunter River High School told News Of The Area, “These bags were put together with love and thought and our school should be so proud of the fact that every single child from Kolonga Public School will receive their very own bag of school supplies, and no one will miss out.”
“150 students in total, a massive effort for a school in need.”
By Rachael VAUGHAN