Sister Avelina Raiwaleti is shown here in a photo taken before she left the USA in late 2012 for her new mission in Vanuatu. Since arriving, she has been in charge of a hostel for young women in Port Vila. She wrote a few days after Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu with winds of 240 mph on March 13th. Sister said that she and the hostel residents sheltered in a small cement laundry under the house, while they listened to windows breaking and things crashing outside. Fortunately all of them were safe, but the buildings were badly damaged and the vegetable gardens destroyed.
Since communications were cut between the islands, shortly after the storm had passed two of our Sisters set out to see how the Sisters and the people had fared on some of the outer islands: those on the island of Santo had been spared the storm, but the island of Tanna was very devastated. Shelter, food and even water are in short supply.
A number of governments and NGO’s responded quickly with emergency aid to the people of Vanuatu. If you would like to send a donation directly to the Marist Missionary Sisters working there to help them with rebuilding and supplying food until the crops can grow again, you can do so through our DONATE page on this website or by sending a check to our mailing address in Waltham Massachusetts. Thank you for your generosity.