Australian Volunteers International

April 4, 2023

Meet remote volunteer, Sosefina

One opportunity has led to another for Sosefina who volunteers at a technical institute in Tonga.

“The partner organisation I worked with remotely in Tonga is called ‘Ahopanilolo Technical Institute (ATI). I started working with ATI in February 2021 on an assignment that was extended twice. My assignment was to review the Hospitality Accommodation Services Programme. We managed to upgrade the curriculum to the next level and advised the Tonga National Qualifications and Accreditation Board about the review. The Accommodation Services Programme has become a very popular choice for school leavers who wish to pursue a career in the hospitality industry.

“In late September 2021, I started a new assignment as a Curriculum Developer for a Labour Mobility Pathway initiative, preparing Tongans who have the desire to travel overseas to work in fields such as seasonal fruit picking, tourism, hospitality and aged care. This assignment was the first of its kind to be made available in Tonga, and ATI will pilot the programme before it is offered elsewhere in the Pacific Islands. This assignment was also extended twice to complete the addition of special units in the Tongan language, with greater emphasis on cultural issues to be of guidance to prospective Tongans working abroad. I am currently teaching the programme in Tonga and will soon begin a new assignment as a Trainer and Mentor at ATI.

“I was keen to take part in remote volunteering as a way of giving back to my country of birth. Having spent 10 years of my career teaching hospitality, I felt my skills and experience were worth sharing with the youth of Tonga.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed working remotely, thanks to the technology which made communication easier, and all the assignments I took on were a good challenge. I greatly appreciated the team support from my partner organisation, as well as AVI. The biggest highlight is now being in-country to partake in teaching modules that I partially developed while volunteering remotely. Teaching and sharing onsite is so rewarding and I will definitely do it again!”

Sosefina Fineanganofo
Curriculum Developer
‘Ahopanilolo Technical Institute, Tonga

Sosefina’s volunteer assignment was part of the Australian Volunteers Program, an Australian government initiative managed by an AVI-led consortium.