A hand up, not a hand out

canstockphoto25413463Just across the ocean, to the north east of my homeland is a small group of islands known as the Kingdom of Tonga. The rich fertile volcanic soil provides the Tongans their main income  while a plethora of hibiscus and frangipani give colour to the coconut groves and banana plantations.


The rainforests and skies are home to golden plovers, the Pacific black duck, the Tongan whistler and lorikeets while flying fish, dolphins and humpback whales reside in the oceans below.

Or so my research tells me, I’m yet to see for myself!

In a few weeks I am taking the opportunity to discover and learn about this friendly culture and I hope I can give as much to the community as I know I will receive from the experience. I am travelling with an inspiring group of women, many who I first met last year with the non-proft organisation Good Return  our educators as we journey through Tonga and share time with local Tongan people benefiting from the work of Good Return

I have admitted in the past that I am a bit of a list person. As I celebrated a landmark birthday this year the desire to help others has filled my thoughts and has been added to the imaginary list in my head.

canstockphoto5272365If you had to write a list of what you wanted from your career and your income what you write? A promotion? A good boss? Long lunches? Flexible working hours? Sick leave? Maternity leave? Free childcare?

Would you think to write “To be able to feed my family three meals a day”? When I learnt this is a goal for a lady in Tonga I knew I wanted to help.

In August I am journeying  to Tonga as part of a cross-cultural leadership program and to support and train local women to improve their futures and lift them from the cycle of poverty.

I have self-fcanstockphoto30781094unded my own travel costs and time away and am now fundraising for Good Return and these women and their families who are less fortunate than me and many of us.
If you can support me in my endeavours with a donation to this cause I would be very grateful.

I will keep you posted of my journeys too 🙂


Images from © Can Stock Photo Inc. / donyanedomam;  © Can Stock Photo Inc./Alexis84 and  © Can Stock Photo Inc./lemony 

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