Tonga Natural Disaster Relief
Commonwealth Point of Light 103. Penisimani Po’Uliva’ati Lepa
Penisimani Po’Uliva’ati Lepa, representing Tonga, is the president of ‘All Saints Anglican Youth’, which supports their local community before, during and after storms and tropical cyclones, which have now become more frequent and severe.
During tropical cyclone Gita, the worst storm to hit Tonga in 60 years, Penisimani successfully led the disaster preparedness operation by evacuating families to safety, securing properties, distributing survival kits to the most vulnerable and providing crucial assistance in its aftermath. Today, Penisimani and the ‘All Saints Anglican Youth’ continue their preparedness work by undertaking training in geographic information systems and community integrated vulnerability assessments in advance of the next cyclone season.
“I would like first and foremost give the glory to God for this achievement, I am just another vessel for his loving hand and compassion, I am truly honoured and humble to be chosen for this award. I also would like to share this achievement with the young people of our youth, they have given nothing less of perfection and dedication, this award is for all of us. It is not about what we do or what we gave or how much, it is all about being there in times of need. This is a mission of the church and this award gives me and the young people more strength and determination to continue to do this work for the betterment of our communities, as natural disasters will always happen and they are getting more frequent and severe.
“To conclude, I would like to finish off with these words: ‘The price for doing good work is doing more good work’.”