Yesterday, the Vanuatu Paralympic Committee published a request for donations on behalf of Vanuatu Society for Disabled People after Cyclone Pam destroyed the Vanuatu Society for Disabled People facility on March 13. All of the organization’s staff survived the cyclone. Vanuatu Society for Disabled People are requesting donations be sent via http://vanuatusocietyfordisabledpeople.org/donate-now/.
At the time the facility was destroyed, fifteen people including six with disabilities and two children were sheltering in the building. Maxwell Nassak, who was in the building at the time, is quoted by the organization as saying, “As the wind blew stronger it collapsed the whole older part of the building. We ran to one room in the new building and we were safe there. […] During the night, somewhere around 11 to 12, the wind came again more strongly and broke the roof. The wind came in with the rain and water came fully inside. Everyone just sat on a chair until morning.”
Vanuatu Society for Disabled People has been one of the major supporters of the Vanuatu Paralympic Committee. Both have been working together on talent identification and making it possible for athletes to get experience abroad to attend Rio qualifying events. An Agitos Grant last November helped bring Australian Paralympics Committee’s Manager for High Performance Chris Nunn to the country to train with the country’s track and field competitors.