World Cruising Club are continuing to receive generous support following the appeal to help the people affected by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu. Delegates attending the Ocean Sailing Seminar in Annapolis USA last weekend donated over $2,700 to the fund. As sailors they wanted to reach out and help people they had never met, but with whom they share a common bond of the sea.
Communications with Port Vila are now more reliable and we have had recent updates from Elsie who runs the Yachting World marina and waterfront, and from yachtsman Tom Partridge who is there with his boat Adina. Plans are being made to survey all the yacht moorings and sponsor their repair and renewal and to help meet the cost of repairing marina buildings. The aim is help rebuild business, and get them ready to open for the new tourist season, then visitors can return and will spend money in the local economy, securing the jobs and livelihoods of many families.
Meanwhile, $5200 from the appeal fund has already been dispersed to the 52 employees of Yachting World, helping them to look after their families, and rebuild their homes.
Elsie and Staff of Yachting World and the Waterfront - Port Vila
Elsie from the Yachting World marina writes to us “The Staff of Yachting World and the Waterfront - Port Vila Vanuatu sincerely thank the World Cruising Club family of sailors for their generous individual donations towards rebuilding their homes. These photographs show our staff excited after having received your kind and wonderful donations. Our staff are so happy with the donations as it helps not only them, but their whole community around them! Not all our staff are back, just those that are have managed to get tarpaulins over their houses. It is so unbelievable and now after 10 days they are starting to smile again! Your donations are helping the whole extended family at Yachting World, each individual person. We are now starting the clean-up project; the rubbish that has washed up on our beach is incredible; parts of houses, parts of boats! Anyway - 10 days have now passed and so we are relieved everyone we know survived.”
Tom Partridge of yacht Adina ( www.yachtadina.co.uk ) writes: “Yesterday (23 March) we visited the Yachting World marina. I told the girl in the office that I knew about the WCC donation and that you had been in contact. Your donations have made a difference, as tears welled-up in her eyes and she said how kind you’d all been. The fuel dock is up-and-running again and they are now open for business with power and water back on. These are people who just want life to continue as normal. The daily sound in Port Vila is one of chainsaws and there is the smell of wood fire smoke everywhere. The people here are trying to get on with life, they never ask for help, but the truth is each person we ask says they have lost their homes and the situation is getting worse as crops were washed away and people are homeless and hungry. All around is a fear that visitors won’t return to Vanuatu, yet as you know this is a beautiful place with the friendliest people.”
Tom is continuing to prepare Adina
to sail out to the outer islands with relief supplies as soon as he can.
As yet, we have had no direct news from Port Resolution on Tanna. Our local contact Werry, was in Australia at the time of the cyclone and is now making his way back to his home island. We will continue to share news and updates on the appeal as we get them.
If you would like to assist the appeal, please contact Andrew Bishop
or Jeremy Wyatt