24 April, 2023

On Monday 24 April 2023, ADRA Vanuatu were honoured to have Her Royal Highness Princess Mary of Denmark and her delegate visit the Elang Family Support Services Centre at Etas, which is a component of ADRA Australia’s Blossom Project. 

Princess Mary is interested in women’s empowerment and climate change, and wanted to learn how local women in Vanuatu are adapting to the changes posed by the impacts of climate change. 

“The Elang Family Support Services Centre offers life skills training,” said Danielle Masoe, the Project Manager for ADRA’s Blossom Project. “The women learn how to sew dresses, shirts, and children’s clothes for themselves and also to sell. The women also tend gardens and sell their produce at the market. It helps them generate income for the family.”

The women who received life skills training showcase their wares to Princess Mary

The women who have been empowered through the centre’s life skills training had the once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase the items they produce to Her Royal Highness. With the impacts of climate change affecting people in Vanuatu, especially women and children, Etas community had the opportunity to share their story of how they are adapting to the changes. 

“Vanuatu, like other small island developing nations, is prone to the impacts of climate change,” said Lynffer Wini Maltungtung, the acting Country Director for ADRA Vanuatu, in her official welcoming address for Princess Mary and her delegate. “ADRA also acknowledges that climate change is not just an environmental issue, but a social and economic issue as well. It disproportionately affects vulnerable populations, particularly women and children. We believe that by empowering women, we can create stronger, more resilient communities that are better equipped to face the challenges of climate change.” 

ADRA Vanuatu hopes that the visit will provide valuable insights into the challenges women in Vanuatu face and that it will inspire further action towards creating a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient future for all. ADRA has integrated climate adaptation into our programs by integrating nature-based solutions in all development and disaster risk reduction programs. 

The Elang Family Support Services Centre is run as part of the Blossom project, which enhances the wellbeing of women and girls by addressing issues such as domestic violence, sexual abuse and teenage pregnancy.