BCB Program – Tonga & Oceania

“Oceania is vast, Oceania is expanding, Oceania is hospitable and generous, Oceania is humanity rising from the depths of brine and regions of fire deeper still, Oceania is us. We are the sea, we are the ocean…”

Epeli Hau’ofa

Welcome to the BCB Program Tonga & Oceania

The Building Cultural Bridges Program focuses on getting middle school (Grades 5-8) students to connect across the globe, focusing on the nation of Tonga and the region of Oceania. The connections between students and teachers center on intercultural exchange, learning about one another, their communities, and much more. Through the introduction of the Project-Based Learning pedagogy, students collaborate to identify mutual joint projects that throughout the project period, build the 21st Century Skills needed to thrive in the quick-moving world we live in. We would like to thank our partners, Friends of Tonga, for their tireless effort and collaboration in making the BCB program a success in Tonga.

Why Tonga?

In collaboration with Friends of Tonga, the BCB program aims to address critical needs and challenges while fostering cultural exchange and educational advancement. While the program already provides a comprehensive history of Tonga, it’s essential to highlight why the BCB program is both necessary and desired in the Tongan context.

Addressing Educational Needs: The BCB program recognizes the urgent need for educational initiatives in Tonga, particularly in the face of challenges such as limited access to resources and evolving educational landscapes. We understand that literacy and educational development are fundamental pillars for societal progress and individual empowerment. By implementing literacy elements such as comprehension, communication, writing, language, and knowledge building, the BCB program seeks to enhance literacy rates, promote lifelong learning, and empower individuals to contribute meaningfully to their communities and beyond.

Climate Resilience and Educational Achievement: Climate change poses significant challenges to educational infrastructure and attainment levels, impacting communities worldwide, including Tonga. By fostering environmental literacy and resilience-building skills at a formative age, the BCB program contributes to building a generation equipped to tackle the challenges posed by climate change and its implications for educational outcomes.

Stakeholder Engagement: Since 1967, Peace Corps has maintained a presence in Tonga, colloquially known as The Friendly Islands. With a rich history of Education programming in Tonga and over 1,500 Volunteers serving since 1967, Peace Corps has been instrumental in fostering cultural exchange, community development, and educational initiatives. By leveraging the expertise and resources of agencies like Peace Corps and their volunteers, the BCB program strengthens its capacity to enact meaningful change and nurture enduring partnerships for the betterment of Tonga’s educational landscape and future.

More Information about the Kingdom of Tonga

Tonga, officially known as the Kingdom of Tonga, is a Polynesian sovereign state and archipelago comprising 169 islands, of which 36 are inhabited. It is located in the southern Pacific Ocean, about a third of the way between New Zealand and Hawaii. The capital city, Nuku’alofa, is situated on the main island of Tongatapu.

The culture of Tonga is deeply rooted in Polynesian traditions and has a rich history that dates back over 3,000 years. The Tongan people are known for their warm hospitality, strong community ties, and vibrant cultural practices such as traditional music, dance, and handicrafts. The monarchy plays a significant role in Tongan society, and the country has a unique system of nobility based on hereditary titles.

Tonga’s economy relies heavily on agriculture, fishing, and tourism, with a growing emphasis on renewable energy and sustainable development. The islands boast stunning natural beauty, including pristine beaches, coral reefs, and lush tropical landscapes, making it a popular destination for eco-tourism and adventure travel.

Despite its small size and remote location, Tonga has a rich cultural heritage and a strong sense of identity that is cherished by its people. The nation’s commitment to preserving its cultural traditions while embracing modernity makes it a fascinating and unique destination for travelers and scholars alike.

Media from Previous Tonga-Hawaii Connections

Join Educators of America’s Building Cultural Bridges program and connect your classroom to extensive, inspiring, and authentic Tongan & Oceanic culture.

Share this content: