RECONSTRUCTION OF CLASSROOM IN ERETAP VILLAGE
Nelly Iaukelo, 33, and her husband Gaetan have been volunteering with Vanuatu Red Cross for over 3 years. “I like the Red Cross because they help people in the community and I’m interested in their work. I enjoy going out to communities I haven’t been before,” she said.
When Cyclone Pam came, Nelly’s home in the town of Lenakel (West Tanna) collapsed. “I saw my house had fallen down and I felt very sad. I cried with my children because we were very sorry for our house.”
One year ago Cyclone Pam tore through the South Pacific affecting 200,000 people and leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. Vanuatu bore the brunt of the disaster but Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea were also badly affected. In the last twelve months, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) working with National Red Cross Societies in the region, has reached more than 44,000 people across all five affected countries with direct humanitarian assistance.
When Cyclone Pam made landfall in Sasake Village on Emae Island in Vanuatu last March, Karie Manaruru knew that his house probably wouldn’t withstand the storm.
“My house was not in good condition so I went down to the doctor’s house to be safe. When I saw that my house was destroyed I felt terrible”, explains the 61 year-old.
Having lost a leg in an industrial accident in his youth, Karie Manaruru felt the task of rebuilding his home was nearly impossible. “Living with one leg is not easy. When Cyclone Pam hit us here, it was very hard."
This week, a team of Vanuatu Red Cross trainers and volunteers commenced the facilitation of a series of ‘Safe Shelter Awareness’ workshops aimed at assisting 900 households in communities across West Tanna to rebuild their homes in a way that they will better resist future natural disasters such as cyclones and earthquakes.