The sheer force and intense sound of a cyclone is frightening for everyone, but for the youngest members of society, it can be truly terrifying.
“During the cyclone, I was so scared because my mum was not well as she had a caesarean delivering my younger sister and when the weather is bad she gets sick,” shared 10-year-old Riel of her Tropical Cyclone Harold experience.
Riel’s house was destroyed by the 200 kilometre an hour winds that ripped through Santo, Vanuatu on 6 April 2020. In total over 17,000 houses were damaged or destroyed by the cyclone, leaving around 87,000 people without homes.
“Our house was badly damaged, and my father was almost killed by flying iron roofing sheets. I am so happy that we are safe and alive,” shared Riel.
World Vision Vanuatu Country Director, Kendra Gates Derousseau, said, “The cyclone was a very distressing experience for so many children. Providing families with everyday essentials and items to support their recovery is our priority.”
Riel’s family was provided with a shelter tool kit to help them rebuild their home. The kit includes items such as nails, a hammer, shovel, rope, shears, a machete and wire. The family also received a tarpaulin, blankets and mosquito nets.
Riel expressed her thanks for the support. ‘I am grateful for the help World Vision has come to give us.”
Riel has a message for children in Vanuatu. ‘I would like to wish all children in Vanuatu a happy children’s day.’
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.