YOUR May peace mail from Vanuatu
My name is Risa and I live on the island of Pentecost in Vanuatu. I am a ‘Church Champion’ and while I feel that the word ‘champion’ is a bit too heavy for me, I feel really happy to be entrusted with this position.
Vanuatu Christian Council/Act for Peace
A few years ago, the Vanuatu Christian Council (VCC) trained me in preparing for a disaster and now I have taken a leadership role in my own community.
As a Church Champion, I help prepare and train my neighbours for times of disaster. Every year in Vanuatu, we face the threat of many disasters, including cyclones, floods and volcanic eruptions, so it’s really important that we all know what to do.
I have to teach my community how to implement an action and response plan. Part of this plan is that we can now identify buildings which can be used as evacuation centres and we now understand what to do during the three alerts of cyclone.
Recent disasters, like Cyclone Harold in April have caused major destruction of our crops so food shortages are a constant threat. Through the training provided by VCC, we know how to preserve food so we have food available after disasters.
Through the program, our community receive disaster kits which have items that help our community stay safe. This includes first-aid kits, torches, a radio and more. We also received first-aid training so that we can access and assist with any injuries that may occur.
I have seen a big change in the community as a result of this program and people are now taking disasters and their safety seriously. This program has been of huge benefit for us.
I feel honoured that my community knows that I am someone whom they can turn to in times of disaster. Thank you for standing by us and helping us be prepared for disasters.
Download this Peace Mail in pdf
Vanuatu is the most at-risk country in the world for natural disasters. Villages in Vanuatu are stretched over a large number of islands and many remote communities are cut off from assistance in times of disaster. The Vanuatu Christian Council (VCC), Act for Peace’s local partner, trains communities in Disaster Risk Reduction. This helps people be prepared for the next disaster and be more resilient to withstanding their impacts.
Thanks to your support, VCC is helping make evacuation buildings accessible and reinforcing them against future damage. Your support also helps provide emergency disaster kits. While many communities are already benefitting from this essential training, there are many more that need to be reached.
Cyclone Harold Update:
On April 6, Tropical Cyclone Harold made landfall on the north and west of the country. The category five storm was the biggest since Cyclone Pam in 2015, bringing 230kph winds, heavy rain and flooding.
Act for Peace has been working with the VCC to facilitate delivery of emergency supplies to communities in need, including shelter kits and even basic hygiene items such as soap.
Thanks to the disaster preparedness training that your kind, regular gifts support, teams on the ground were able to distribute important information quickly. Prior to Cyclone Harold, communities were prepared to evacuate safely. Now in the aftermath of the cyclone, local church and community representatives are working with the VCC to help distribute emergency supplies to those who need it most.
More ways to take action
Remember someone in need through the Christmas Bowl.
By giving a monthly gift, you can help bring safety, justice and dignity to people around the world who have fled from conflict and natural disasters.
Give a gift that will make a lasting difference.