Anglican Church gets behind Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam

Iron Aid organisers from left orchard worker Fredrick Ron, Waipopo Orchards' Danny Bennett, Canterbury Longrun manager ...

Iron Aid organisers from left orchard worker Fredrick Ron, Waipopo Orchards' Danny Bennett, Canterbury Longrun manager Neil McRae, Dennis Veal

Rebuilding at least 10 homes in Vanuatu is the motive behind Iron Aid.

The Anglican Churches of South Canterbury have got together to get building materials for Vanuatu as a number of their parishioners are from there, organiser Dennis Veal said.

"We prayed for them and their families after Cyclone Pam but wanted to do something useful for them too."

The churches decided to buy a tonne of roofing iron, at a cost of $4000. They approached Neil McRae at Canterbury Longrun who offered to process the steel into roofing iron for free. Then he went a step further and organised NZ Steel to donate the steel for free.

Next on board was Waipopo Orchards with Danny Bennett offering a container to send the materials to Vanuatu, when staff from the orchard returned to their home in Vanuatu at the end of next month.

"By then we will be assured the infrastructure is there, we want to make sure that the aid gets to the people that need it," Bennett said.

There were 45 people from Vanuatu working in South Canterbury orchards, he said.

"We have asked our staff to register their villages with the Red Cross database. Luckily no one lost anyone back home."

Staff have been coming to work at the orchard for the past eight years, he said.

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"They have managed to save up and gone back and built houses and now half of them will have to go back and start again."

Now the group are hoping to fill the rest of the container with building materials and tools.

If you wish to donate contact Veal on 6861297. 

Last Friday night the fundraiser Van Aid took part at the Caroline Bay Hall. The charity auction and night of entertainment was the brainchild of the Regenvanu family, who have loved ones and friends living in cyclone-ravaged Vanuatu.

Attendees enjoyed live music from local bands Double Talk, Keltic Mix and Sha Low.

 - Stuff

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