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Government’s REACH program a success

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 23/05/2019

The Minister of Justice marked the beginning of a two-day “lesson learned” workshop for government officials and partners who conducted the REACH mobile awareness raising and service delivery pilot in April.

The workshop will enable participants to evaluate the project’s pilot implementation and plan future innovative approaches for improved delivery of services to rural and remote areas in Tonga.

Hon. Vuna Fa’otusia said, the first phase of the REACH program was successful as more than 2000 people received the government’s services.

“I trust that through this workshop, you will all learn and build on the good practices of the pilot project. And then we will be able to identify to solutions to tackling the challenges you encountered. Turning back is not an option. And I urge you all to work closely, to find innovative ways, to ensure that the services government provides is truly accessible by the people we have been task to serve. “

The new adaptation and pilot of the REACH mobile service delivery is led by the Government of Tonga with support from UN Women and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Speaking during the program – Andrew Harrington the program Manager from UNDP and ‘Uieta Kaufusi from UN Women congratulated the team and spoke of the workshop.

“At present we are working with internal funds from both UN Women and UNDP but eventually those will run out so we will be looking to help you, determine in the next part of the workshop what lessons have learned and what the path in the future will be and we will be working with development partners. As broadly as possible. In UNDP as a development partner, our job is to help you move forward then work ourselves out of the job. so eventually that’s my goal. “

“During this mission, we were able to provide over a thousand services to the people of Tonga. And in such a small time, if we are able to provide that many services to the women of Tonga. What more if this program has expanded. What I like to acknowledge in this base is the REACH initiative allows workers such as yourself to be the ears for services. To hear the stories of our women, ray of hope our women need, to share awareness services available to them, way that is consistent keeping up to our traditions, unfortunate issues of violence here in our kingdom. “

REACH mobile service delivery pilot initiative aims to enhance citizen access to justice, government and women’s services for rural, maritime and otherwise remote areas in Tonga through an integration of services coupled with delivery by service providers in those areas, with the focus on reaching the furthest behind first.

The mobile service delivery reached 17 communities in Tongatapu and ‘Eua Islands from 25 March to 5 April.

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