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Vanuatu is a land of diversity made up of 82 relatively small Pacific islands with each and every island having its own history and unique traditions. 

It is estimated that two thirds of the population make a living from small-scale agriculture, with fishing and tourism also being a major source of income to the country. The majority of the population live in remote rural areas, where they have few health, education and employment opportunities. 

Challenges to family life in this region include adultery and family breakdown; an increasing number of teenage pregnancies; widespread drug and alcohol abuse especially among the young; health issues such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis; lack of economic opportunities for women; rape and incest. 

There are over 113 indigenous languages that are still actively spoken. More than 55% of the population are under the age of 24.

Mothers’ Union has been active in Vanuatu for many decades and members are very involved in community outreach. They are very strong in prayer and have a special prayer day on the first of every month. 

Members help communities plan for climate change disasters, and have supported communities after they were affected by Cyclone Pam and tropical cyclone Donna, helping families rebuild their homes and businesses together. 

Other Mothers’ Union activities include:  

  • Support for widows
  • Health education/awareness
  • Counselling
  • Vocational training
  • Literacy
  • Hospital visitation
  • Parenting Programme
  • Campaigning against gender-based violence