To mark the one-year anniversary of Cyclone Pam and International Women’s Day, Vanuatu Red Cross hosted a short film screening on Monday 14th March at Vanuatu Cultural Centre, Saralana Park. The film, ‘Haos I Foldaon, Woman I Stanap’, aims to recognise and celebrate the role that women have played in helping their communities recover from Cyclone Pam.
Working in collaboration with Further Arts, a team of women from Vanuatu Red Cross together captured the stories of nine everyday women - drawn from a cross-section of areas and industries - to provide a diverse perspective of the recovery process and the roles that women have played.
“In celebration of International Women’s Day, we have collected stories from women who have stood in the face of adversity and refused to give up. Women who have actively chosen to take control of the situation and contribute in remarkable ways to the recovery.” Said Jacqueline De Gaillande, CEO, Vanuatu Red Cross during her opening address.
The film, funded by Australian Red Cross, aims to inspire other women and provide examples to the entire community of the great things women in Vanuatu are capable of.
“In a country where we often look to men to lead us through difficult times, these stories show us exactly what women are capable of,” continues De Gaillande. “This film presents only a small example of the resilience and strength shown by women in Vanuatu in the aftermath of the cyclone.”
At the screening event, participants from Vanuatu Red Cross’s livelihoods program showcased and sold handicrafts they produced with skills learnt during recent workshops. “The Livelihoods program is integral to Vanuatu Red Cross’s overall recovery effort. It aims to provide young women with skills in areas such as business management, sewing and agriculture, which we hope will assist them to generate an income to help them recover from Cyclone Pam.” Says Renie Anderson, Gender & Protection and Livelihoods Coordinator at Vanuatu Red Cross.
Vanautu Red Cross’s First Aid team also had a stall selling first aid kits and promoting their first aid courses. In addition a local women's string band also performed at the event and catering was provided by the Local Restaurant Association, led by one of the women featured in the film, Miriam Malao. The film will be distributed to the provincial Red Cross branches in coming days where similar screening events will be held.