The Prince of Wales visited Vanuatu today to see how the island is recovering following the devastation of Cyclone Pam.
After being welcomed to the island with a traditional dance performance, The Prince met with Oben Moses Tallis, President of Vanuatu.
Following this, His Royal Highness visited Haos blong Handikraf, which was established to provide a space to sell local products, drive creativity and revive handicraft skills that are at risk of being forgotten. It is part of the Seafront Beautification Project which was completed and officially opened in September 2017. Outside the market, The Prince took a seafront walk with His Excellency Jonathan Schwass, New Zealand High Commissioner to Vanuatu, to discuss the damage caused to the island by Cyclone Pam in 2015 and the subsequent recovery process. The walk encompassed an exhibition created to celebrate women of Vanuatu.
Later in the afternoon, His Royal Highness toured the restored Port Vila Central Hospital, Vanuatu's main hospital, following extensive damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Pam. He also met with recently graduated and current students of the Vanuatu College of Nursing Education, Vanuatu's only training college for nurses and midwives, before joining an afternoon tea reception.
The Prince of Wales then received a chiefly title in a traditional ceremony with Chief Sine Mao Tirsupe, President of the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs. This involved the drinking of special kava, known as Royal Kava, which is reserved for special occasions and was last consumed during a visit by The Duke of Edinburgh in 1974.
Following the ceremony, The Prince unveiled a commemorative plaque and planted a namele fern before making a few brief remarks to the gathered crowd.