Donations worth $50,000 destined for Samoa

By Aroha Mane

Samoan families based in Auckland have banded together to collect donations for whānau and health providers impacted by the measles outbreak in Samoa. Organisers and volunteers met at Wiri today to start packing supplies for a 40 ft (12.2 m) container destined for Samoa.

Donations of love and support arrived from all across Auckland.

For Tuala Tagaloa Tusani it has a personal impact, a nurse asked for help when he was recently in Samoa attending his nephew's funeral.

"About two weeks ago I was in Samoa, I was at the burial of one of three siblings. It was very hard as a father, parent and Samoan to see the suffering that's going on there. On my return home, one of the nurses/midwives, her name is Tiara wrote me a message on Facebook asking for gears that they needed in the hospitals."

Donations have come in various forms ranging from household goods, food, money and even a container. In total, the goods are worth more than $50,000.

“They're running short on things like gloves, nappies, bed sheets, pillows and all those sorts of things,” says Malia Lameta, co-director of Pure Alofa.

“Some of the other nice things that are in there are children's books. We're just trying to uplift their spirits as well and balloons, colouring pencils. Just little things that make the kids happy,” says Joyce Purcell, co-director of Pure Alofa.

Director EIF International limited, Anne-Maree Lund told Te Ao, “So we'll be getting a 40 foot container delivered here, we'll pay for the transport to get the container here, we'll pack it ourselves and urgently send it to Samoa.”

Besides donations they also had messages of love and support

“We love you guys and we wish that we could be there to help, so we're going to do as much as we can,” says Lameta.

“First of all, I thank the Samoan communities for their strength at this harrowing time. I praise them for their patience at enduring these difficult circumstances. I want to assure them, that ASA Foundation along with many volunteers from our country are rendering assistance to you as quickly as possible,” says Tusani.

The container will be packed and shipped to Samoa this Monday.