13 September 2015

A helping hand for an 8-month-old survivor

8-month-old Nichola is one of the first babies in Vanuatu to receive nutrition supplements
 through UNICEF following Cyclone Pam. We visit him to see what difference they’re making.
UNICEF Pacific/2015/Berthe

I met Nichola for the first time when a nurse measured the circumference of his arm at Pango Community Centre in Port Vila, Vanuatu. I was relieved to see that the colour of the special measuring tape was green, meaning that Nichola wasn’t dangerously underweight.

Lessons in grief, hope and recovery from a seven-year-old boy.

Tavai Soalo, a facilitator in the UNICEF-supported Just Play sports for
development programme and Nalau.
UNICEF Pacific/2015/Berthe
“I remember Tavai. He came to my school and we played football”, says Nalau.

Tavai Soalo, a facilitator in the UNICEF-supported Just Play sports for development programme, also remembers Nalau. He was facilitating a Just Play session at Sorovanga School, Vanuatu, aimed at helping children to recover emotionally from Cyclone Pam, when Nalau shared his story. 

“We played games then I asked the children how they felt after Cyclone Pam” Tavai recalls. “I gently encouraged them to share their experiences, feelings, thoughts and even plans for the future.”

The tent that brought children back to school

Joana and Daisly used to miss school regularly before Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu. 
The unique experience of learning in a tent has brought them back. 
UNICEF Pacific/2015/Berthe

When Joana and Daisly share their experience of Category 5 Cyclone Pam, I can hear the horror of that night in their voices – voices that remind me of my two young sons and our own night of terror.

Seven-year-old Joana is from a small community in Port Vila. She was home with her younger sister and her parents when the cyclone hit Vanuatu with devastating force on 13 March 2015. She tells me the wind was so strong they had to shelter in a nearby shop after the cyclone ripped the roof of their house off. Fear still echoes in her voice when recalling the events of that night six months ago.

01 September 2015

Champions for healthy schools

Nasautoka District School. © Akvo/2015/Stefan

It’s not something you might think about all that often – but the provision of safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in schools can mean the difference for children between staying healthy and safe at school – or getting sick and missing important classes - or worse.