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Vanuatu: one year on

By Prayer team | 29 Jan 2016

Jacob was among the (roughly) 140,000 people who had homes and livelihoods destroyed when Cyclone Pam smashed into the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu last March. We caught up with Jacob a year later to see how he has been helped by Tearfund partners to rebuild his life.

Jacob (pictured here) was smiling and singing when we went to visit him – a far cry from the desolate man we met nearly a year ago.

Jacob was among the (roughly) 140,000 people who had homes and livelihoods destroyed when Cyclone Pam smashed into the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu last March. ‘The cyclone destroyed our houses, gardens and coffee,’ says Jacob, who lives on the island of Tanna. ‘A lot of farmers lost heart when they saw their coffee plantations completely destroyed.’

Despite the hardships of the months since the cyclone, Jacob has hope. Thanks to Tearfund supporters’ generosity, our partners were able to help people like him in the tropical storm’s aftermath with food, water and shelter. We’ve also been training people in new planting and cultivating techniques for quick-growing and high-yield food and cash crops, and teaching how to process peanuts – a good source of new income.

Jacob has built a new home for his family, but Tearfund partner training to help people be better prepared for disasters has given him new ideas: ‘When there are the resources available, I will build a cyclone-proof house. I’d like to build a strong community house we can all go to be safe during the next cyclone.’

Please pray for a strong and lasting recovery for Jacob and his fellow islanders.



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Written by Prayer team

The rather mysteriously named Prayer Team is made up of a number of writers working closely with country and development experts in the UK and overseas.