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Tokanga Project: Building Sustainable Futures for Tongan Youth
Updates / Community , 24 May 24
The Tongan Youth Trust (TYT) is dedicated to empowering Tongan youth with a passion for their development. Through a variety of programmes, TYT aims to create an environment where young Tongans can flourish and stay connected to their rich cultural heritage through community-driven initiatives.

One example of these initiatives is the Tokanga Project, supported by Pasifika Futures. This project inspires youth to build a sustainable future while fostering a tightly-knit community. The Tokanga Project comes out of TYT’s Akongoue Programme, an initiative where formal education meets cultural values. Its primary mission is to spark passion and curiosity among Pasifika youth to look at sustainable careers in the horticultural sector.

TYT Akolelei Education Program Coordinator and team member of the Tokanga Project, Susanna Vailea, elaborates on the initiative's mission.

"Our goal is to educate and inspire our youth and their families in gardening, equipping them with the knowledge to grow their own crops. This initiative encourages healthier eating habits and nurtures a love for nature and the environment."

Vailea takes great joy in witnessing the youth's growing enthusiasm for gardening and values her role in fostering spaces that promote connection and relationship-building.

"We see numerous positive outcomes from this project. Our youth not only gain new gardening skills but also have a place to make new friendships and build strong bonds.

"A personal highlight for me is watching our Youth Mentors interact with the kids, creating a safe and comfortable space for them."

Through the Tokanga Project, TYT is cultivating a new generation of Tongan youth who are knowledgeable, connected, and passionate about their heritage and the environment. 

Learn more about the work they do and how you can keep updated with their programmes and initiatives by visiting their website here