Ambae evacuees with disabilities who have been sleeping on the floor of the Shanghai Building at the Niscol Wharf on Santo since they were evacuated now have beds to sleep on.

Thanks to the work of Field Ready and Ministry of Youth and Sports volunteers, these displaced people now have beds made out from local materials such as timbers and blocks donated from hardware shops

Almost 200 people with disabilities are being temporarily housed at the shipping terminal. These include pregnant women, elderly people and children.

They went there with their caretakers and had been sleeping with their mattresses on the floor, some without mattresses during the cold nights.

Now they have beds with privacy screens that can also be used as a place to sit and store their possessions.

An elderly man and his wife Roselyn said: "The beds are comfortable and the people who did this are very good.

"It has made a big difference to us."

Field Ready’s Technical Adviser in the Pacific, Ade Ogunniyi, said: “We believe that by making useful things, we can make the world a better place.

"We do this by working in emergencies and reconstruction, using a range of technologies and engaging people in new ways.

"The impact of this is more people helped - faster, cheaper and better.”

Field Ready promotes a new innovative approach to delivering aid, where supplies are manufactured or purchased locally instead of being imported from overseas which can be expensive and take a long time for delivery.

Local people can also better contribute to decisions on what they need, and the type of aid delivered.

Field Ready has its head office in the USA and works around the world assisting in responses to conflicts and natural disasters and have recently set up an office in Fiji addressing humanitarian needs across Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

Field Ready initiative is funded under the Australian Government’s Disaster Ready program and working in partnership with World Vision Vanuatu.

People with disabilities are twice as vulnerable when it comes to natural disasters. Their daily challenges are almost the same as disasters.

For them, access for everything from beds to medical and education services during disasters and emergencies is a challenge.

This initiative for the Ambae displaced people living with disabilities shows how a little creative help can make a big difference very quickly, in their comfort and ability to care for themselves.

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