A Nelson City Council staff member with links to Vanuatu is organising a relief mission for the country.
Lauren Stockbridge, who’s fiancé is from the Pacific nation, works at the council’s emergency management office. She decided to take action her fiancé’s family and friends told her supplies food and water was starting to run out.
She has started a donation drive for aid supplies to be delivered to the worst affected communities of Manplaes and Mele within Port Vila.
“I spent the majority of last year living and working in Vanuatu in the disaster risk reduction sector so I know the area well.
“My father-in-law has told me that Port Vila is in a state of shock, having run out of food and clean water, and shops and banks remain closed with little or no communications,” says Lauren Stockbridge.
“I am now asking for staff at the Nelson City Council, and people from around Nelson to help me by boxing up a family care package.”
The care packages should include:
1 x 5kg bag rice
4x Tinned tuna / 2 x spam, 2x tinned vegetables, 2 x spaghetti and 2 x baked beans
1 x 500ml vegetable oil
2 x 5 packet instant noodles
1 x 2.4/3.0m tarp (Available from Bunnings $9.00)
1 x packet Mozzie coils
1 X 5 packet matches
1 pack Battery operated mini LED Lanterns (Available from Bunnings $14.00)
1 x packet water purification tablets (Available from pharmacy)
1 x packet AA batteries
All boxes should be clearly labelled with the contents.
“I’d love it if I could have 50 boxes to courier out to Vanuatu, and if each council department, or family group, or local business could put together a box between them, it would make such a difference to these people in their hour of need,” says Lauren Stockbridge.
The Mayor of Nelson, Rachel Reese, is backing Lauren’s mission.
“It’s wonderful to see staff members being prepared to give up their own time and resources to help people less fortunate.
“I will be putting together a box myself and am strongly encouraging other departments at the council and local businesses and organisations to do the same,” says Mayor Reese.
Members of the public are able to drop in any items or completed box to the Nelson City Council by 5pm March 23.
Cyclone Pam has devastated Vanuatu and its 83 islands. Estimates suggest at least 100,000 people are homeless with up to 50 loss of lives. This figure is likely to rise as aid agencies reach more remote islands.
Lauren will also be holding a charity BBQ at the upgraded Maitai Walkway next week. The event starts at 12:30pm on Monday 23rd March
Lauren’s fiancé, Rifkin Kaloran, will be at the charity BBQ to collect donations and chat to the public.