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Appeal launched to help homeless villagers

Homeless villagers
Homeless villagers in northern Vanuatu after Cyclone Harold. Photo: BJBN

Organisers of the Down Under Rally have started an appeal to help those left homeless by a recent cyclone in northern Vanuatu.

Project Nakamal has been established to raise $10,000 to help villages recover from Cyclone Harold which hit northern Vanuatu in early April.

The Go West Rally is an annual long-distance cruising event which sees vessels arrive at the Bundaberg Port Marina in November.

Organisers hope this year's event can go ahead if restrictions ease.

In a message to supporters today they asked for donations to Project Nakamal.

“Many of the villages in the effected areas have since reported that not a single house survived the cyclone,” John Hembrow said.

“In addition their crops were so badly damaged that for days, they were finding the vegetables littered all over the place, even hanging from trees.

“These are humble and resilient people who have had to rebuild their homes and communities many times in the aftermath of such events however few such past events have been as devastating or have come at a worse time.”

John said the local materials (bamboo and natangora) required to rebuild the houses destroyed have also been destroyed, making it impossible for many to begin rebuilding.

The required materials are available in other regions of Vanuatu however these people have no way of gaining immediate access to these materials, as the cost of delivery is prohibitive.

“The immediate solution and as such the urgent mission for many of the villages is to start by rebuilding the Nakamal,” he said.

“A Nakamal is found in every significant Vanuatu community, but the design of the Nakamal and the traditions surrounding it vary between areas.

“In north and central Vanuatu, the Nakamal generally takes the form of a large building, assembled from traditional materials with the help of the entire community, under the direction of a particular chief.

“Our goal, via Project Nakamal, a Facebook hosted fundraising campaign, is to raise $10,000 AUD which will provide the funding needed to start getting these materials delivered to those who need them most.”

After four days, $4153 had already been raised.

Melsisi Village
Melsisi Village on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu on 14 May 2020. Photo: BJBN
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  1. Someone post your news on Facebook here in Vanuatu, so grateful to hear this, it shows your heart to support our people in need. May God bless.

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