I grew up in Fiji and clearly remember the terror of cyclone season. Cyclones were the monster that haunted us each year without fail. Their devastation leaves a lasting impact.
Although I now live in Australia, these disasters continue to come harder and faster in our region. When Cyclone Winston bore down on my former home last year, 62,000 people were displaced, and in some areas hardly a school was left standing. A year earlier, Cyclone Pam devastated the islands of Vanuatu, levelling buildings and leaving 75,000 people homeless. Papua New Guinea is still recovering from a severe drought, which wiped out crops and left 1.4 million people hungry.
As the manager of Pacific Partnerships and as a Pacific Islander, I am grateful to the thousands of people who gave generously to help Pacific islanders get back on their feet throughout these crises. The reality is, if communities were better prepared, these disasters would not be anywhere near as tragic as they are.
You might have heard the saying: “A stitch in time saves nine.”
Well, evidence tells us $1 invested toward disaster preparation saves $15 in recovery efforts later.
Investing in disaster preparation before disaster strikes doesn’t just make good economic sense. It also saves lives.
How? Your gift will help people to:
- Assess the risks they face and make changes so that fewer people will be killed in the event of a natural disaster
- Plant crops that cope better under the impact of climate change and disaster
- Adapt the way they make their living to the changing environment
- Organise themselves in ways that are more resilient in disasters, even if key leaders are lost
- Train church leaders to provide chaplaincy and support during crisis times
- Grow an understanding of God that fuels courageous and faithful action in the face of disaster and loss
If you can give a gift today, we’ll use it right now to help communities build stronger homes and mitigate the dangers of flooding and destroyed crops. We’ll help Pacific communities plan ahead for drought; adapt their livelihood to a changing climate; build up leaders who provide pastoral support, trauma counselling and teach hope and faith in the face of despair. We’ll use your gift to create 15 times more impact than it would have after disaster strikes.
Rev Dr Seforosa Carroll
Pacific Partnerships Manager