Postponed - Tonga: Youth Center

Ha’apai Island, Tonga

Postponed - Tonga: Youth Center

Registration Fee: 

Tonga is COVID-free. Entry to Tonga is severely restricted, and only travelers specifically approved by the Tongan Government are allowed to return on periodic repatriation flights, so the trip is postponed until further notice.


In January 2014, Cyclone Ian made landfall in Tonga, causing widespread destruction in the Ha’apai Islands. The cyclone was one of the most powerful tropical storms to strike the Pacific nation. As a result, the Ha'apai Youth Congress (HYC) Center was completely destroyed.

HYC is the only youth organization in the Ha’apai group of islands and has been in existence for 26 years. They have asked Surf For Life to help in the building of a new multi-purpose community conference center that will serve as a meeting place for youth and a communal space to have ceremonies, assemblies and conferences. This space will also provide an opportunity to generate additional income for the youth by renting out the facility. 

Surf For Life funds help support the building of the youth center. Volunteers will work side-by-side with community members, guided by a construction foreman, to help in the various stages of construction.

Project Details

  • Project: Youth Center
  • Project Location: Ha’apai Island
  • Type of Trip: General Volunteer 
  • Minimum Fundraising Commitment: $2,850 ($350 non-refundable registration fee included in this amount)
  • Note: This is a Monday to Monday trip. There is a 60 day cancellation policy for this trip.

Each week requires a minimum of 5 volunteers to run the trip.  Registration fees are non-refundable. To read our cancellation policy, please click here.

How You Can Help

$50 =

  • $10
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $250
  • $500
  • $1000

*Please note: you are not actually buying the materials shown above for any particular dollar amount, they are for example only.

Join us on this Trip

Sep 6 - Sep 13
Available Spots: 
Sep 13 - Sep 20
Available Spots: 
Sep 27 - Oct 4
Available Spots: 
Oct 4 - Oct 11
Available Spots: 

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Project Details

About Our Project Partner:

The Tonga National Youth Congress (TNYC), is the key non-government organization focusing on issues that affect Tonga’s youth. Surf For Life is teaming up with the Ha'apai Youth Congress (HYC), a branch of the TNYC. HYC serves the central island groups of the Kingdom of Tonga which consists of 25 communities. HYC is the only youth organization in the Ha’apai Group and has been in existence for 26 years. This completion of this project will provide employment for young people, a meeting space for youth and the community.

About Tonga

Located in the South Pacific, the Kingdom of Tonga is a Polynesian archipelago comprised of 169 tropical islands. This Polynesian kingdom is made up of 3 island groups comprised of 177 islands in total, mostly uninhabited. The islands are covered in tropical rainforests, lined in white sand beaches, and surrounded by coral reefs and crystal clear waters.

The people of Tonga are welcoming, relaxed and easygoing. Any occasion, big or small, can become a good reason for getting together to celebrate with friends and family. Tongans LOVE to sing and see it as a way to come together.

Religion is also an important aspect of Tongan life. Most Tongans are members of the Christian church, as well as Morman, Catholic, and more. Going to church is a vital part of their life. In fact, businesses are shut down on Sunday so that the community can attend church.

About the Trip

  • Lodging: One room bungalows with fans and shared communal bath house
  • Remote/Not remote: Remote - island with a small town
  • Language: Tongan and English  
  • Food: Traditional foods include root vegetables (taro, yams, carrots, cassava), bananas, coconut, breads, seafood and meat
  • To get there: International flight to Fuaʻamotu International Airport (TBU).  Please note that this trip may require extra travel on both ends. Depending on your location, flights may require leaving your destination on Thursday or Friday to arrive in Tonga for the flight to Ha’apai Island on Monday morning. Please check flights before registering.

Additional Trip Activities

  • Humpback whale watching
  • Boat trip to a remote island for a day of cooking a traditional Tongan meal
  • Snorkeling 
  • Swimming in crystal clear waters

More Ways to be Involved

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