I have written several posts in the past talking about our friends from Vanuatu and a couple of my blogging friends have kindly emailed me to ask if they can help them in some way. Yes please, if you can!
Vanuatu is a group of 80 islands in the Pacific ocean, many of the men from Vanuatu come to NZ to work as seasonal workers in our vineyards and fruit orchards, this is how we came to know a group of them – they worked with Roger in a vineyard and for the past four years we have got to know them and learn more about them. A post I did for Eco-grandma aka Living Simply Free about the men we know.
The majority of Islanders are unemployed, their jobs are “gardeners” which means they simply grow their food, their homes are dwellings built from what is available on community land. They fished and ate from fruit and coconut trees that grew prolifically on their islands – now destroyed by the cyclone. Their lives are humble, they are humble. Because there is so little employment there there are little taxes paid, their government is poor – education costs nearly $300 a term and that is why the men come here, so their children can be educated and the men are proud of their ability to do this for their children, it’s a huge thing for them. Most of the men are now returning home to help there, to go back (with less money than they hoped to earn) to no homes, no food, no government assistance. Aid has been slow to reach them, made worse by the fact there are so many islands, many communities live quite remotely.
We are unable to get in touch with those men we know however ALL the people’s of Vanuatu need help – these people think as one, their community, their beloved country and they would want help for all not just them – so, I am asking here please donate if you can, even $5 to the Red Cross or Unicef to help them. There has also been a page set up at Givealittle for Marlburians to send a large container of building materials and though I know none of you live here I do know this money is going straight to this cause so adding it here: http://givealittle.co.nz/cause/marlboroughassistsvanuatu/donations
A 4 minute radio discussion from John Campbell, one of our journalists who is there now.