Following the ‘new normal’ caused by COVID-19, many schools around the world are forced to shift the traditional in-person class to online. As good and futuristic it may sound, many counties are not prepared for the sudden change—especially for poor countries who lack technological equipment for it. This is where the eight missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a classroom full of Northcote intermediate school students come out. The two have joined forces together to prepare to shift computers to Tonga where it will use by the county’s Ministry of Education.

The missionaries loaded up 46 computers from Rangitoto College in Auckland where they also helped the students unload them at Northcote Intermediate to rebuild and repair the computers.

According to the Church, the missionaries met Principal Muir, The Teacher & I.T. coordinator, Conor McHoull, and the I.T students with whom Pacific Assist and Latter-day Saint Charities are working to get the computers ready for shipment.

“Our kids have put their skills, their heart and help into rebuilding these computers,” School teacher, Vaha Fapiano said.

Sister Kulihaapai, a missionary from Tonga who helped with the project also noted that “as missionaries, we volunteer to serve others just as Christ did. With cooperation from Latter-day Saint Charities and Pacific Assist, we are helping to ensure that these computers make it to Tonga so our brothers and sisters back there will be able to use them.”

During the course of the project, John McClean, Pacific Assist director, expressed his gratitude for Cameron Voss who “acted as our Pacific Assist IT liaison person on the day,” he said. “Without his IT knowledge, I would not have known what language these kids were speaking.”

The project received positive feedback from students, parents, and the community. The computer will be used by the Ministry of Education to further its effort in online learning.

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Josh Flores is a writer for Moroni Channel. He studies commercial law at De La Salle University and served his mission in Japan.
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