Jenny (front) with her parents

Jenny’s smile steadies the family

When Tropical Cyclone Harold struck Santo, Vanuatu on 6 April 2020, Jenny, aged 26, who has an intellectual disability, did not really understand what was going on. Her dad Pu explained, “Jenny had no idea what was happening around us, and all the while, she was smiling and singing while our roof was slowly being blown away by the wind. At first, I was desperate, but then I thought maybe Jenny was showing me that if Christ is with me then I can smile through the storm. I see this now, with all that you have brought to help us recover.”

Over 17,000 houses were damaged or destroyed by Tropical Cyclone Harold, leaving around 87,000 people without homes.

World Vision supported Jenny and her family with a shelter tool kit, hygiene kit, tarpaulin, blankets and a solar lamp. The hygiene kit includes everyday essentials such as soap, sanitary products, nappies, underwear, toilet paper and toothbrushes while the shelter tool kit provides items to help Jenny’s family make repairs, including nails, a hammer, handsaw, hoe, shears, a machete, rope and wire. Most of the family’s belongings either blew away or were damaged during the cyclone. These items will meet immediate needs and help the family on the road to recovery.

‘Vomboe Molly, World Vision’s Tropical Cyclone Harold Response Manager, shared, “We have prioritised the most vulnerable community members affected by Tropical Cyclone Harold. This is a difficult time for everyone in the community, but it is particularly challenging for those with disabilities and other vulnerabilities.”

Full of emotion, Pu said, “Thank you very much to World Vision and the donors for their help.”

More than three months on from devastating Tropical Cyclone Harold, World Vision has reached 14,506 people, including 7,694 children, 364 people with disabilities and 367 female-headed households with essential relief items. World Vision has distributed 3,904 tarpaulins, 1,035 shelter toolkits, 359 solar lanterns, 2,846 blankets, 1,321 hygiene/dignity kits, 3,319 jerry cans, 566 mosquito nets, 410 water filters/buckets, 1,131 ending violence packages and 3,398 COVID-19/protection messages. We worked closely with partners, including the Sanma Provincial Emergency Operations Centre, who led the response. World Vision will continue to work with the government through the Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office and support communities to recover from Tropical Cyclone Harold and the impact of COVID-19.

World Vision's Tropical Cyclone Harold response was funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Humanitarian Partnership, UKAID through Start Fund, the Government of Canada through the Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund, and relief supplies donated by the Government of New Zealand and UNICEF.  Support was also provided through generous donations from the people of New Zealand and Australia.