In the wake of the devastating cyclone that struck Vanuatu on 13 March, World Cruising Club (WCC) have launched an appeal to help rebuild isolated communities in the islands, often visited by cruising sailors.
Cyclone Pam caused significant damage throughout the Vanuatu archipelago, with winds of up to 270km/h (170mph) and torrential rain leaving devastation in its wake. Emergency relief efforts are under way, with governments and global aid agencies mobilizing aircraft and supplies to help the people of Vanuatu with their immediate needs.
| ||The track of Cyclone Pam as it went over Vanuatu|
| ||Damage to marina facilities and boats in Port Vila.|
The island nation of Vanuatu, which stretches in an extended chain in the northwest Pacific, has long been a favourite destination for cruising sailors. For many years the scattered communities throughout the islands have extended a warm welcome to visiting yachtsmen, who in turn provide a vital, and in many cases sole source of income in the villages, whose inhabitants live by subsistence farming and fishing.
World Cruising Club have been taking groups of yachts to Vanuatu since 1991, and know at first hand the vital importance of nautical tourism to the economies of these remote islands.
WCC Director Andrew Bishop explains: “For many of these communities, having visitors stay in their villages, spending money directly on food, accommodation and tours is the only source of income they have. This in turn pays for their children’s education and communal facilities such as shared generators and fishing boats. Whilst the international aid agencies are well placed to deliver effective immediate disaster relief, we are very aware that to rebuild their lives, these small communities need to rebuild homes and businesses so that tourists can return to these beautifully remote islands.”
World Cruising Club has an especially close relationship with the people of Port Resolution on the island of Tanna, and has visited the village regularly with World ARC since 2008. Andrew Bishop continues: “The entire community at Port Resolution have made our visiting sailors very welcome over the years. Our sailors have in turn sponsored building community facilities and guest accommodation and have taken the community into their hearts. We were all deeply saddened by the news of this disaster. Already many our former round-the-world sailors have been in contact with us to ask what they can do to help. Knowing the vital importance of getting tourist spending back into the economy, we have launched an appeal amongst our sailors to support rebuilding marine tourism and community facilities in Port Resolution, Port Vila and elsewhere in Vanuatu.”
World Cruising Club has launched the appeal with a donation from the company of US$10,000 and is asking previous round-the-world sailors and members of the sailing community globally, to donate.
If you would like to help, please contact Andrew Bishop at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44(0)1983 296060
On behalf of the communities in Vanuatu, thank you for your support.