On Friday 13 March, 2015, category 5 Tropical Cyclone Pam hit the island state of Vanuatu. The storm hit 22 islands and affected over 166,000 people, of which 82,000 were children.
Homes, schools, businesses, livelihoods and basic services were destroyed, affecting many children and coaches involved in the Just Play Programme.
After the cyclone, Just Play collaborated with UNICEF Pacific to use the Just Play programme platform to reach children and share important information. 36 emergency festivals were delivered and birth certificates were issued to children as part of the Nation Birth Registration Campaign on top of regular programme activity to help the children of Vanuatu through the trauma.
Psychosocial training allowed coaches to use Just Play sessions to encourage children to share their experience of the cyclone and support them through the recovery process.
Lessons learnt from emergency response activities for Tropical Cyclone Pam contributed to the development of the Just Play Emergency Programme, launched in Fiji on March 23 2016, in response to Tropical Cyclone Winston.