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Tonga Volcano Relief: Tongiaki

Tapa Making and Handicrafts


Tongiaki is 38 years old. She is married to a carpenter, and together they have three children. Tongiaki runs a business of tapa-making and handicrafts. She produces different types and sizes of tapas, as well as hangings and fans and much more. Her business helps to provide for and educate their children. Tongiaki’s house and business were affected by the January 2022 disaster.

“All my business equipment and finished tapas were washed away by the waves. We evacuated to a safer place and left everything behind. My business area was in the front part of the house, and the waves came and washed part of the walls away. Even to this day I still cannot repair it, for it needs a lot of work and money for its renovation. All our belongings, furniture, freezer and washing machine, everything was washed away. We are grateful for our lives.”


“I took an SPBD rehabilitation loan soon after it became available, and I used some of the funds to repair a part of the damaged wall. On the other hand, I also needed business equipment to continue running my business, to earn money. So instead of buying a wooden tutua, we hand-made a cement one. It is heavier to be washed away again and also can be used in the long-term. I was also able to buy a new freezer, washing machine and even mowing machine to help with the clean up, for it is a huge clean up. If it wasn’t for my SPBD rehab loan, I wouldn’t be able to revive my business and buy some home equipment for my family.”


If it wasn’t for my SPBD rehab loan, I wouldn’t be able to revive my business and buy some home equipment for my family.


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