Follow your dreams ... Emma Carle of Waikaka is heading off to Tonga for a year with Volunteer Services abroad (VSA)

Emma Carle says she always thought one day she would volunteer with Volunteers Service Abroad (VSA).

Her dream is about to come true, Ms Carle set to start a one-year stint volunteering in Tonga in January.

“I am fortunate to be able to take this opportunity,” Ms Carle, of Waikaka, said.

“My mother as a young woman in her twenties spent a year in Samoa with VSA, teaching.

“It is something I always thought I would do.”

Over the years she had perused the VSA website, looking for potential opportunities.

“I ended up finding two countries looking for someone with my skills, with the applications closing the next day.”

After applying for both positions, one in Timor-Leste and the other in Tonga, she accepted the role of media and communications adviser for the Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Tonga.

“This is a role I can put my journalism and promotional skills to good use,” the former Gore District Council employee said.

The centre is based in Tonga but covers the whole Pacific.

“I may have the opportunity to travel to other islands.

“It is all a bit unknown at the moment, but very exciting.

Ms Carle’s partner, Malcolm Smith, will travel with her.

“He doesn’t have an official role, but we are confident there will be plenty for Malcolm to do.

“A handyman is always welcome.”

They will arrive in Nuku’alofa in January.

It would be “a new year, a new start in a totally different work environment, where we will experience an in-depth insight into their culture, not purely visiting as a tourist”.

“I am looking forward to swimming every day.”

Ms Carle and Mr Smith need to raise $1000 each as part of their VSA commitments.

  • Visit and search Emma and Malcolm if you want to help.

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