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The Kingdom of Tonga is experiencing serious financial problems because it is largely dependent on grants from donors such as the EU, US, AU, NZ and China as well as the money sent home by the 50% of the Tongan population that are working in other countries because they could not find employment in Tonga. The only answer to these economic problems is for Tonga to develop exportable products, and tourism, etc. to earn its own way, and this is what we are trying to do on Ovaka Island.

We believe that ecologically sound marine farming is the best economic development direction for Tonga to go in. The Tongan reefs are highly suitable for marine farming, including giant clams, black pearls, sea cucumbers, and many other species, which could be extremely profitable products. We have been trying to establish such for the 5 years we have been on Ovaka, since economic development for Tonga is one of the charitable missions stated in Starspring’s charter. These pilot economic development projects on Ovaka will serve as models for similar developments in other Tongan villages. We are sure that such economic development projects can make a major contribution to Tonga's economic development, bringing much wealth to the country. For example a properly run giant clam farm can  easily bring in a million pa’anga per year. In 3 or 4 years the farm could produce 200 large clams every day for sale at the local markets, supplying Tongans with a food they love and rarely see in the markets because of the depleted reefs. What was not sold in Tonga could be frozen and exported. There is a good market for it. Presently freezer containers come to Tonga delivering meat and leave the country empty. Filling a container with vasuva meat would fetch a high price abroad. For example, giant clam meat sells for T$50.00 per kilo in Australia. The availability of more vasuva would also mean less reliance on imported chicken and lamb as protein sources.
 
Contributions to Starspring will help us continue our work.

Starspring is a 501(3) Non-Profit Organization registered in the US, which makes US donations tax deductible. It is run entirely by volunteer contributions of time and resources, and does not have any paid employees or administrative overhead. All of the resources, supplies, and infrastructure are donated. You can contribute to helping the wonderful Tongan people, and your donation will be forwarded in full toward the intended use.

You can make a donation through Starspring by mail to:

Starspring, P.O. Box 1266, Kilauea HI 96754, USA        or

Starspring, Private Mail Bag 16, Neiafu, Vava'u, Kingdom of Tonga, South Pacific

For your convenience, you can use PayPal. However, please note that if you choose this option, there is a processing fee that PayPal charges us of 1.9-3.9% + $0.30. There is no overhead if you make a donation by check.