Crown Princess Mary of Denmark during her visit


Crown Princess Mary of Denmark visited the Elang Family Support Services Centre in the Etas community, which was established by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) yesterday morning. The Centre was built to provide education, support, care, and empowerment to the women of Etas who face daily challenges.

The community of Etas, which has a population of 3,000 people, including individuals with disabilities, faces numerous challenges, such as climate change and cyclones. Due to the fact that the majority of mothers in Etas rely on farming for their livelihood, floods caused by cyclones can leave them without food or money for up to four months.

According to a source, the community exclusively uses trash salvaged from landfills to construct their homes, and they use large iron containers to collect rainwater, despite knowing that it is unsafe to drink. The source also mentioned that, because their residence is far from the closest river, most children do not wash their clothes, and during the dry season, they do not wash their faces either.

Despite these challenges, the community expressed gratitude to ADRA Vanuatu for establishing the counseling center, where they can acquire life skills, such as sewing and cooking. They also appreciated the market for change program, which teaches them how to save money during times of disaster and how to add value to their food and ensure its safety.

During her visit, Crown Princess Mary was welcomed by Pastor Charlie Jimmy, President of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and ADRA Vanuatu Chairman, who expressed gratitude for her recognition of ADRA Vanuatu’s Elang Family Support Services.

Lunffer Wini, ADRA Acting Country Director, also expressed her gratitude to Crown Princess Mary for visiting the Elang Family Support Services Center and acknowledged the impact of climate change on vulnerable populations, particularly women and children. She stated that by empowering women, ADRA can create stronger and more resilient communities that are better equipped to face the challenges of climate change.

Since 2012, ADRA Vanuatu has been working in communities throughout the country, providing support and assistance during times of need. The Elang Family Support Services Centre is just one example of ADRA’s commitment to the people of Vanuatu, providing counseling, life skills training, and referral services to women and children affected by domestic violence and other socioeconomic issues.

Mrs. Wini expressed gratitude on behalf of ADRA and all their beneficiaries and communities for Princess Mary’s visit, conveying hope that it would bring valuable insights into the challenges faced by women in Vanuatu and inspire further action towards creating a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient future for all.