The Ha’apai group is comprised of 62 islands and the size of the smallest island is less than 1 hectare, and even the largest island is less than 18 square miles. The populations of the two large islands of Haápai are Lifuka and Foa were total of approximately 4,000 people!
However, Just Play arrived in the Haápai group for about four years ago, and has been actively occupied Lifuka to Foa in community based. The Just Play Project Manager, Ms. Palu Úhatahi appointed Luisa Liuaki in April this year to coordinate this very vital program for Haápai. Ms Uhatahi believed the program would be growing if someone from Haápai to look after Just Play.
‘’I have visited Haápai for few times, and realized it is necessary to hire a person from Haápai to coordinate the program daily,’’ Úhatahi says.
‘’Since Luisa came on board, she is so proactive, and now she already registered more than 500 children have been participating in the program since April this year,’’ Úhatahi added.
‘’I came to visit Luisa so we can go through her work plan, budget and to find out if she needs assistance, and I can return back to Tongatapu as I’m happy with what she have now and I’m looking forward to work closely with her in the future. She is so responsible and very willing to develop Just Play for Haápai,’’ said Úhatahi.
In Lifuka to Foa, there are six primary schools, GPS. Hihifo, GPS Pangai, GPS Koulo, GPS Fotua, GPS Faleloa and Petani and all these six primary schools are actively involved in the Just Play program.
‘’I understood my responsibilities but I enjoyed working with childrent’’, Liuaki says.
‘’First of all, I would like to thank Palu Úhatahi for giving me this great opportunity! I will do my best to revive Just Play here in Haápai,’’Liuaki added.
‘’Secondly, may the thanks to all the principals of those 6 primary schools for your kind support in making things easy for my visits, I thought it will takes a month, anyways thank you so much for supporting Just Play.’’
‘’Finally, the Just Play contents also taught me a lot, and now I stopped eating raw noodles, and I really turned away from drinking sodas. Eat healthy food, live healthy and happy.’’
‘’To build a healthy Tonga, Just Play program in Haápai will make sure this message be heard from Lifuka to Foa and to the rest of those 62 islands,’’ Liuaki stress out.
Just Play program has been supported by Government of Australia, Soccer Australia, Government of New Zealand, UEFA Foundation, Unicef Pacific and the Oceania Football Confederation.