BRISBANE. The race is on to save a young lady from Tonga named Viola Kavapele Maka, who came to Australia on a visiting visa in 2011. Viola became seriously ill while visiting her brother in Brisbane. Because she can’t be treated in Tonga, her family decided that it would be in her best interest to seek treatment in Australia. Viola’s father has passed away and her Tonga based surviving mom is not in paid employment. Sadly, there is no stable support for Viola in Tonga.
A new charity called TongaCare has launched an urgent appeal to help pay for Viola’s cardiac surgery, which her doctor says needs to be done straight away. A medical treatment visa has been granted, but she is not entitled to MediCare and she does not have any insurance. Her family is in financial difficulties. Without help and generous donations, Viola could lose her life, a life that could have been saved if she was born in the United Kingdom, America or Australia.
Viola’s Cardiologist has expressed the urgency of the operation in a letter, with an estimated cost to be between fifty to one hundred thousand Australian dollars. He also added that Viola would regain a relatively normal quality of life after surgery. There’s hope if people from around the world dig deep into their pockets to help pay for the much needed operation and to keep this vulnerable young lady’s heart beating.
TongaCare is a small registered charity which was started in 2012 by a few Good Samaritans who offered to help another fellow Tongan national who fell ill with meningitis while in Queensland on a seasonal workers scheme. They have helped eight disadvantaged people so far. The self-funded charity’s main objective is to provide care and assistance to disadvantaged individuals, especially those who “fall through the gap” like Viola.
New Executive Officer for TongaCare, Kennedy Tau has come up with a fundraising strategy call Donate 21. The idea came to him when he asked his daughter Amanda for a small donation to kick off the campaign. She reached deep into her pockets and pulled out two notes and all the coins. It totaled twenty one dollars. She then told her dad that if people donate just twenty one dollars, it won’t take long to reach the goal. Amanda lost her younger sibling Shakobe to leukemia in 2003. Her dad said, “Loosing a child is the worst thing that can happen to a parent. I don’t want Viola’s mom to go through what my wife and I have been through.” Members of Shakobe’s family have all donated twenty one dollars each and are calling on others to do the same.
Donations can be made to the following Westpac Bank special appeal fund. Account Name: TongaCare Viola Maka Appeal, BSB: 034074 Account Number: 197120.
For more information about the appeal visit www.facebook.com/Donate21 or www.Donate21.org
Press Release by Kennedy Tau (Executive Officer). Email: [email protected] Mobile: 0405 645 471
TongaCare Incorporated, 528 Waterford Road, Ellen Grove, QLD 4078, Australia
ABN: 18 644 884 289 / Cert. of Incorporation No: IA40644 / CHARITY No: CH2425