Vanuatu is an idyllic, tropical paradise in the South Pacific Ocean.

This tiny country was devastated by Tropical Cyclone Pam in March 2015, at the same time as the biggest Disaster Risk Reduction conference of the decade, being held in Sendai, Japan (which I also happened to be at…).

Within a week or so, I headed to the capital, Port Vila, to coordinate our emergency response programs there.

After a couple of days of running around to different appointments with humanitarian actors, local government officials and community leaders, I hopped on a tiny, tiny plane to Tongoa Island (population 2500), a 45-minute ride away from the capital.

The island has no electricity and very few modern amenities, but is genuinely one of the most peaceful, healthy and “complete” communities I have ever visited.

Here are some photos from my time meeting incredibly kind, resilient and welcoming people.

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