North Campus, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, February 28th, 2022: On January 15th, a violent volcanic eruption on Tonga’s Ha’apai Island triggered a massive tsunami. Tonga suffered heavy casualties and property loss as well as environmental damage. The severity of the disaster has attracted global attention.
Since 2015, GDUFS has hosted nine training classes for young leaders and civil servants from Pacific island countries, which many Tongan students have participated in. After the disaster, the Institute for International Education immediately sent emails to those Tongan students who had taken part in the training class to express the university’s strong feelings of consolation and concern.
On February 22th, after Tonga’s ability to communicate with the outside world gradually recovered, the Institute for International Education received the Tongan students’ written replies one after another, expressing thanks for the concern and friendship they had received from China. Nancy F. Tamoúa wrote, “We are inspired by your letters and we know that we have many good friends all over the world. Though the disaster caused damage to lives, homes, crops and the environment, we have found new strength through mutual assistance and also with the help of the friendly people and government. We are healthy and safe at present and desire to rebuild our home. From this pile of ash and rubble, we will keep on living and live better.”
Background of the Project:
In recent years, China has developed a friendly relationship with Pacific island countries and devoted itself to carrying out exchanges and cooperation with them in many fields. The exchanges and cooperation between Guangdong Province and Pacific island countries are also becoming increasingly frequent. With full funding from the Foreign Affairs Office and the People’s Government of Guangdong Province, GDUFS undertook a series of nine training projects for Pacific island countries from May 2015 to October 2019, and received 240 students from eight Pacific island countries. The training activities were highly praised by the students.