“Cyclone Pam hit Port Vila as a category 5 cyclone in March 2015. Many water tanks were destroyed, pierced by debris, and houses lost. For the first two weeks the only clean water available on half road Erakor was coming from the earthbag tanks [at the earthbag Women’s Center.] Suddenly everyone understood what the women had been trying to do.
“This Vanuatu build was started with a little experience in what can go wrong and it made all the difference. Seven Australians aged 14 to 63 and four local men worked together with the wife and four daughters of a Ni-van waiter to build these two rooms in 14 days.
“Hi Owen, I’ve been sick for the past fortnight but it’s given me a chance to process all the offers and opportunities that have opened up.
I am going to have to work with the government in Vanuatu so I have to be very clear what I can offer to a community and how I can fund it.
In an effort to prove that a simple earthbag roundhouse could be built entirely with unskilled and inexperienced labor we made a leap of faith.
We bought a block of land on the island of Efate in Vanuatu. We intended to build a women’s centre and hoped to inspire pacific islanders to recycle and build safe affordable Eco housing. This is not a charity or a religious venture. It just started with one Australian family wanting to help some friends in a nearby island.