Over the past few days, thousands of people were forced to leave their homes, gardens and farms as Lombenben volcano on Ambae Island continues to rumble, belching ash, smoke and volcanic rocks.

A mass evacuation continued on the island this week since the government declared a state of emergency and raised the alert level to four out of a possible five.

The entire population of Ambae of more than 11,000 people have been evacuated to the neighbouring islands of Maewo, Pentecost and Santo, while some of them travelled to Port Vila.

As many had to leave their homes in a hurry and under stressful circumstances, it is a tough situation for them, but many villages, communities, families, organisations sympathised with them by donating food, water, shelter and cash money as well.

Van2017 Organising Committee joined communities, individuals and organizations around the country to offer its assistance in cash donations to all Ambaean evacuees.

“Our contribution of Vt62,645 to you and all the families from Ambae is to show our sympathy to the circumstances that they have to go through now. Our prayers are with you every day, we pray that this contribution becomes fruitful and brings many blessings to our families,” said Tane Maki, on behalf of Van2017 Staff and Volunteers.

On behalf of the Ambae Disaster Relief Committee in Port Vila, Collin Michael said it was a heartfelt moment to receive such a donation coming from Van2017, showing its sympathy to neighbours from Ambae Island.

“For us, it is a very big contribution, and we are thankful for your heart to make such contributions; we will use this fund towards priority needs for our families who are in evacuation centres in Santo, for example clothing and kids’ toothbrushes,” he said.

Mr Collin added that community efforts represent 60 per cent of contributions to assist the coordination of evacuating families and looking after them in evacuation centres, along with the support of Vanuatu Government, government partners, local and regional organizations.

For more information on Van2017 Pacific Mini Games, visit our Facebook pages: Vanuatu2017, Vanuatu 2017Nasiviru and Vanuatu2017EmPawa.

Raymond Nasse

Sports Editor

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