Hope in the face of disasters in Vanuatu

21.03.19

Together we’re supporting women like Flora to prepare for future disasters in Vanuatu.

She and her community are finding the confidence to raise their voices and become powerful agents of change.

Vanuatu is one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. In 2015, it was struck by Cyclone Pam – the worst cyclone on record to ever hit the country.

Flora remembers the day vividly. The deep worry for her children weighed heavily on her heart, and in the aftermath, the burden of work fell on the shoulders of women like her:

Women does many work, does many duties during a disaster like that. They have to prepare food and prepare water, to boil water for children, and to wash clothes – make sure children have good food to eat and good water to drink.”

The Women I Tok Tok Tugeta forum was set up in 2015, as part of ActionAid Australia’s response to Cyclone Pam.  Women have used the forum as a space to receive support,  have their voices heard, collaborate and build their resilience ahead of future disasters.

“I have prepared myself. After this forum through ActionAid, I have trust in me that I have to bring my women together, and encourage them how to trust themselves, to prepare themselves, and work harder to face another disaster.”

Through stepping up to take leadership in emergency preparedness and response, Flora and the women in the forum have started to challenge perceptions of what a woman’s role should be, and gain respect for their leadership from the rest of the community.

Thank you for helping women like Flora to raise their voices and become strong leaders in Vanuatu.

Read more women’s stories from the Autumn newsletter.

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