Melbourne holding “Yumi Helpem Fren Long Vanuatu” fundraising

Promotional poster for the “Yumi Helpem Fren Long Vanuatu” fundraising event in Melbourne, Australia

The Melbourne (Australia) Cyclone Pam Vanuatu Benefit is hosting a “Yumi Helpem Fren Long Vanuatu” (Helping Our Friends in Vanuatu) fundraising event on Sunday, May 10 to assist in the recovery effort in Vanuatu, following tropical Cyclone Pam that caused widespread devastation on Friday 13 March 2015.

The event is being widely publicized through the radio, TV and print to get maximum support for the cause, all the proceeds from which will go towards assisting the work of two of Vanuatu’s key cultural institutions, the Vanuatu Cultural Centre and Further Arts. Both organizations promote resilience and recovery through culture and the arts.

It will take place at Wesley Anne, 250 High Street, Northcote, starting at 3 p.m. and finishing at 6pm Entry fee has been set at $Au25 (Vt2,350).

Organizers have a lineup of artist that will be performing and heading the event will be Melbourne’s own David Bridie (Not Drowning Waving, My Friend the Chocolate Cake) who is a longtime supporter of the performing arts in the Pacific Islands including Vanuatu’s annual Fest Napuan music festival alongside a rich assembly of artists including singer/songwriter Charles Jenkins; the iconic Carrol Karpany (Us Mob); James Henry (Black Arm Band, Archie Roach); Charles Maimarosia (formerly of Solomon Islands’ group Narasirato); West Papuan musician Hein Arumisore (Sing Sing); John Philips (Not Drowning Waving); Greg Patten (My Friend the Chocolate Cake) and Phil Wales (Frank Yamma, 3 RRR)

Acclaimed filmmaker Charlie Hill-Smith’s documentaries will be screened on the day alongside clips of the extraordinary Vanuatu Women’s Water Music DVD (Wantok Musik).

To help stimulate the Vanuatu economy, some of the country’s key tourism industry organizations have generously donated prizes to be raffled. Prizes include: A seven night cruise on P&O’s Pacific Dawn to Vanuatu and New Caledonia; Accommodation at Village de Santo Resort on Espirito Santo, Mariner’s Apartments and Coconut Palms Resort in Port Vila, and the Whitegrass Resort in Tanna; Adventures in Paradise Tour; Wantok Musik Foundation prize pack including an assortment of CDs and Books; and Air Vanuatu.

They are hoping to get more support from the tourism sector in Vanuatu and anyone else who is willing to contribute, could contact the organizers of this event at a “very intimate venue”.

Organizers plan to link the event back to Vanuatu with the support of Wesley Anne, who is providing the venue and Greg Nimbtik, Director of Policy and Planning in the Vanuatu Prime Minister’s Office.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: Cell # 678 5460922

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