We have very strong links to the kingdom of Tonga, I am very passionate about Tonga, especially my local vava’uans (where we have our family holiday home). For years it has annoyed me that these amazing people had such poor access to medical services and basic community education due to the islands’ remoteness.
I kept dreaming as to what can be done… life always took over. Years ago my family went sailing in the Caribbean we met a lovely couple who captained the catamaran we took for our trip.. we spoke of Tonga, the remoteness of the place that forces an amazing people to live in third-world conditions, battling daily with essential health and education barriers.
In September 2011 mates of theirs Richard and Stephanie Hackett started brainstorming the formation of the solution They called it Sea Mercy. They contacted me to be part of their journey as Sea Mercy’s Australian Director.
Sea Mercy is a floating health care clinic to remote islands of Tonga (and other Pacific Isles)!
Sea Mercy’s initial efforts centered around Vava’u and its islands and was based from my place in Port Maurelle, vava’u. A group of sailors assisted in the transportation and delivery, medical professionals will be partaking in the delivery of services to the outer islands of Vava’u, Tonga.
Sea Mercy has a number vessels, mostly catamarans, hundreds medical volunteers and hundreds of thousands worth of medication head out via container to the south pacific at any given time. Sea Mercy has some of the best doctors around the world volunteering their time and money, including world renowned cardiologist Dr Kevin Campbell.
The Tongan flag is a red cross and has the following words on it “KOE ‘OTUA MO TONGA KO HOKU TOFI’A” “God and Tonga are my inheritance”.
Tonga is one of the most beautiful, isolated island nation in the world. It is the only constitutionally Christian nation in the world. Holiday makers only see a simple, beautiful people, but it has one of the most ancient pure cultures in the world, tonga has NEVER been foreign ruled. It has always self ruled. The purity of such people and the depth of their culture takes years to fully grasp. The more| learn the more I admire them.
AS the Australian Director of sea Mercy, I am so proud of this project and what this amazing man Richard Hackett has been able to achieve so selflessly. It really amazes me what people with vision are able to achieve once they get organised!
Feel free to go check it out, at www.seamercy.org, donate if you can, Tongans are a lovely, worthy people xox