Mission gets disaster prepared; urges churches to insure

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Training in progress.

The need for church pastors and leaders to help their members prepare for natural disasters led to the representation of Vanuatu Mission at the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Training organised by the Vanuatu Christian Council.

Among the 23 participants were Pastor Andric Tanghwa, Karl George and minister Loleth Worwor for the Vanuatu Mission. The training was the first of its kind to be targeted at church leaders. The first three days focused on DRR techniques, with gender and protection covered on the fourth and fifth days, respectively.

“As it is often said, ‘disaster is everyone’s business’, but members often miss out on a lot of things that they must know in order to help them prepare for disasters,” said minister Worwor. “The sad fact is that if we do not educate our people in this area, they become more vulnerable in times of disasters.”

Training kits were given out for the training of members. The Vanuatu Mission plans to extend the training to others.

The DRR training came as Vanuatu continues to rebuild after Cyclone Pam.

Six newly rebuilt churches on Tanna received insurance certificates from Risk Management Services (RMS) earlier this year. Mission CFO Apisalome Seru presented the certificates to Tafea district director, Pastor Joshua Esau. The certificates, designed by RMS at the request of Vanuatu Mission, will be displayed clearly inside the churches.

Karl George receives his DRR certificate.

Since the devastation of Cyclone Pam in 2015, the Mission has strongly advocated for leaders and members to secure insurance for their churches. Almost all of the churches and school buildings rebuilt by Australian volunteer contractor Peter Koolik and his team have been fully insured with RMS.

“Despite its extensive promotions, the Mission continues to face huge challenges in getting churches with existing permanent structures to insure their buildings,” said Mr Seru. “Once again, the Mission is pleading with local churches, schools and clinics to insure their building structures. Paying for insurance also indicates that churches are planning ahead and it does reflect good stewardship.”

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