Easter Monday 2015 was spent surveying the village and deciding the best way to help the locals. It was decided to divide the donated goods among the 70 homes (300 people) and teach some locals to install a shower and toilet. These men could then use the skills to install showers and toilets in other homes as they rebuilt their wash houses.
Letters of appreciation from the community
Many thanks to Owen #35, Patsy #115, Clare #8 for the organisation and fulfilment of the effort to help the people of Mangaliliu Village in Vanuatu. Thank you to all residents,Walter Elliott Holdings and the wider community for your very generous donations which amounted to over 500kg of goods. To Shannan at Escape Travel – thank you!
Prior to leaving, we decided to utilise some of our donated funds to purchase numerous hardware items that would fit into our luggage. Just as well – as materials were scarce and Thursday was the earliest we could get the materials we needed. Preparations were made and when the materials arrived it was an all out effort to complete the job. I also taught them how to frame up a wall so they could put some divisions into their homes. Patsy and Clare helped the village women to sort and allocate the food, clothes and toiletries. Two rolls of 12 volt LED lights and cable were taken over and I taught a few men how to solder the wires onto a strip of lights. By the time the volunteers left there were lights in a number of homes. We have recently had a phone call asking if it would be possible to send some more lights over as villagers are keen to have lights in all homes.
Virgin Airlines took all the goods without charging freight – many thanks.
As the village has no electricity all power is supplied by generators. Honda Australia donated a 2KVA generator which has been put to good use. We also purchased a gas fridge for the common area so any villager can use it. Owen is Mr Magic with generators and taught many villagers how to complete the necessary repairs. Two of the tradies who do work at Deception Bay and Beachmere Palm Lake donated a full set of battery operated power tools. The village men were taught the safe use of these tools which will enable them to rebuild much quicker. I went to buy a step ladder for them as the one they were using was beyond repair. It cost $500 AUD so it will have to wait. An extension ladder was $1,000 AUD (on the wish list also).
All village water comes from a tank up on the hill which is fed by a spring in the mountain. We have just heard that the tank has been damaged so hopefully we can eventually help with its replacement. We are investigating the cost of a 5,000 gallon poly tank in Vanuatu. This would service the whole village. $2,000 was donated to the school for repairs and an extension. If the School Council complete the repairs then they could qualify for a grant from the government of Vanuatu so this was the most beneficial way to get the most for the school.
Until our groups arrival, the people of the village had only received 2kg of rice and 4 tapioca plants as assistance so you can imagine the joy this visit created. The market place in Vila is just a pile of rubble so it is difficult for the locals to capture the tourist trade. Many fishing boats are splintered wrecks smashed against the seawall or lying at the bottom of the ocean.
We are still accepting cash donations as this is the easiest aid to get to the people. They can then buy what is needed locally which also stimulates their economy.
Thank you to Harry, Nettie and their family for welcoming us into their home for the week.
From Stuart – Caretaker D Bay