Cyclone Pam packed winds of 270 kilometres (168 miles) per hour when she tore through the Pacific nation of Vanuatu on Saturday 14 March 2015, bringing with her torrential rain, huge seas and storm surges.
The capital of Port Vila was hit hard, and there has been extensive damage to the outer islands. It is estimated that 70 – 90% of the buildings in Port Vila and the outer islands have either been damaged or completely destroyed.
We, as Australian divers, feel a strong affiliation with Vanuatu, the archipelago being one of our closest South Pacific dive destinations. Mele Village, located on the outskirts of Port Vila, is a large village in need of our assistance. The village houses approximately 4,500 people. Over 70% of the shelters in the village have been damaged by the cyclone and are in need of repairs and re-construction leaving a high percentage of the population in less than adequate housing.
Whilst water has been restored to the village, power has not. The villagers are subsistence crop farmers, their crops buried under mud in the wake of Pam’s destruction. Food will be scarce for the coming seasons until crops can be found, dug out, re-planted and yield a return. Sanitation levels are a concern and clothing and household goods have been lost. The school has been completely destroyed.
Hence, we are calling on the Australian Dive Industry to show their support for this appeal to bring some much needed relief to the beloved people of Mele Village.
* We require you to register your donation and contact details so that we can provide you with your receipt for your donation and keep you updated with the progress of the village.
Your donations will be appropriated as follows:
- Every 2 weeks beginning Wednesday 8 April 2015, 100% of your donations will be transferred to Vanuatu until 31 July 2015 after which funds will be transferred on a monthly basis. 100% of the funds will be utilised to assist Mele Village.
- Mele Village is located close to Hideaway Island and many of the villagers are staff at Hideaway Island. Hideaway Island management will be our liason with the two chiefs of Mele Village. Goods will be procured based on what is most needed at that moment in time. In this way, your donations will be going directly to the village and used to purchase necessities that the village actually requires rather than being put into a general charity pool for all of Vanuatu where funds may be used to benefit some but not others in need.
- This approach ensures that both the short term requirements and the longer term requirements of Mele Village are met as this fundraiser will be open until 30 September 2015.
- Transparency of fund allocations and updates on the village’s progress will be documented via our Blog Posts and Newsletters.
Thank you for your generosity
Several of our dive industry partners have come forth to show their support of this campaign by offering some wonderful products as a thank you for your generosity and assistance in helping the people of Mele Village.
Scubapro Australia is donating a full set of scuba gear valued at $4,724 for a Lucky Prize Draw Raffle.
Lissenung Island Resort and Dive Adventures is donating a 8 night dive holiday to Lissenung Island Resort in Kavieng, Papua New Guinea including flights ex Australia for 1 person valued at $4,300 for a Lucky Prize Draw Raffle.
Hideaway Island Resort and Dive Adventures is donating a 7 night dive holiday to Hideaway Island in Port Vila, Vanuatu including flights ex Australia for 1 person valued at $2,300 for a Lucky Prize Draw Raffle.
Each donation between $20 – $99 will earn you 1 entry into the raffle.
Each donation between $100 – $199 will earn you 2 entries into the raffle.
Each donation over $200 will earn you 3 entries into the raffle.
Remember, the Appeal will remain open until 30 September 2015, so you can donate as many times as possible whenever your circumstances allow. No amount will be too small – every little bit counts.
Most importantly we encourage you to continue to travel to Vanuatu. The Vanuatu economy relies heavily on tourism and this is one of the ways the dive industry can show their support to greatly assist Vanuatu in their deep time of need.