The Feed

Stories of Feeding God's Children Hungry in Body & Spirit

Raining Ash in Tanna

Raining Ash in Tanna

Terry and Karen Nutter are coordinators for the Tanna School project at the Christadelphian Bethezer Fund, one of Feed My Starving Children's partners. Tanna is part of a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Australia. Economic development there is hindered by vulnerability to natural disasters, according to the CIA World Factbook.

The local subsistence farmers on Tanna have had a tough year -- Cyclone Pam in March 2015, followed by an El Nino drought. Crops finally began to produce again in May 2016 when the local active volcano Mt Yasur began to belch its ash in their direction.

The ash covers their plants and kills them.

Rain which comes from the direction of the volcano and caries ash with it. Locally called ‘volcano rain,' it is acidic and also damages crops.

The food that it is provided by FMSC for the 360 students currently enrolled at the school is invaluable. It means that they have at least one nutritious meal every day.

 tanna

The provision of this food affects the general health of the children and enables them to concentrate and study more effectively. The students who walk long distances every day are outside the area which is affected by ash fall and have better access to food than those who live locally. It is good, however, to be able to provide them with lunch, to refuel, before they do the return up-to-three-hour walk home.

The children were excited when we began to provide the MannaPack again. They line up eagerly with their plates each day. The school has also been able to provide better cooking and eating facilities this year. It means that the children are able to eat in a covered area unaffected by wind, rain and ash if they want to. Their preference is to eat outside.

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