The immediate crisis is over and attention has shifted from the tsunami which devastated our Pacific neighbours.
But the rebuilding has only just begun and the people still need help.
Roarprawn is involved with Project Heal & Protect and has asked me to spread the word about this appeal:
Kiwi Telco kicks off Project Heal and Protect
Poloketi Toe Fa’alelei ma Puipuia
A Wellington based Telco support company has kicked off a project to rebuild part of one of villages worst hit by the recent tsunami and to construct a new tsunami warning system for the whole of Samoa.
Project Heal and Protect (Polokei Toe Fa’alelei ma Puipuia) was put together by Oceanic Group after senior staff saw the devastation caused by the September 29 tsunami.
Oceanic Group provides support services for a number of telco companies across the South Pacific, including to Digicel in Samoa.
Oceanic Group Director, Locky Mulholland, said they usually prefer to work behind the scenes, but he felt compelled to do something after seeing the aftermath of the natural disaster.
“We are a community focussed company and we struggled to comprehend what had happened to our colleagues and friends in Samoa and that set us to thinking about what we could do to help,” Mr Mulholland said.
Mr Mulholland said the result is the Project Heal and Protect (Poloketi Toe Fa’alelei ma Puipuia) Charitable Trust.
The Heal part of the project refers to a plan to build a new community centre for the village of Poutasi; which being right on the beach bore the full brunt of the Tsunami.
“The community centre and its sports fields was a vital part of daily life in the village and it stood out as an obvious choice to us.
“It will be rebuilt on higher ground so it can be a safe haven for residents of the village during a natural disaster,” Mr Mulholland said.
The Protect part of the project will be the purchase and installation of tsunami warning sirens across Samoa.
These will be erected on Digicel cellphone towers and will be linked back to the new civil defence headquarters which is to be built by Digicel itself.
Mr Mulholland said the response to the project has been incredible with a number of companies giving time and services for nothing to support the project and the list is growing by the day.
“We have architects, builders, Telco companies, All Blacks, radio stations, lawyers, engineers, project managers, league players, public relations consultants, building supplies companies all supporting us.”
The Project Heal and Protect Charitable Trust has been lodged with the Charities Commission, independent trustees have been appointed and a trust bank account has been set up.
Words of support from HE Asi Tuiataga JF Blakelock, Samoa High Commissioner to New Zealand.
“Samoa has been drastically affected by the earthquake and tsunami; however our people remain hopeful and determined to rebuild our island nation. I am truly grateful and applaud Oceanic Holdings (International) Ltd for initiating ‘Project Heal & Protect.’
It is aid such as this, that reminds us Samoans not to lose hope and to continue to unite to restore Samoa to what it was before September 29.
In addition to restoring infrastructure, the National Evacuation Siren System to be implemented by Oceanic thru Digicel, will hopefully improve Samoa’s preparations for any future natural disasters.
On behalf of the government and people of Samoa, I convey our appreciation for their invaluable generosity. I would also like to personally thank Mr Locky Mulholland (Director) and partners for their genuine concern and tremendous efforts to bring hope and comfort to Samoa in this time of crisis.”
Account details for Donations
Account Name: Heal and Protect
Account Number: 030502 0416719 00
Swift Code: WPACNZ2W
For more information about Project Heal and Protect (Poloketi Toe Fa’alelei ma Puipuia) you can ring us on +64 4 384 7266 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information contact:
Chris Wikaira +64 27 45 22 472
Tina Nixon +64 27 22 32 789