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Vanuatu children 'need to see their friends', educator says

There are concerns that tens of thousands of ni-Vanuatu children could be experiencing "stress and trauma" after the double cyclones that tore through the island nation last week.

With widespread damages to infrastructure, many children have lost their homes, had their schools damaged, and neighbourhoods hit hard by cyclones Judy and Kevin.

Port Vila International School teacher Cassidy Jackson-Caroll told RNZ Pacific it was important to prioritise school-aged children's wellbeing during these times.

Jackson-Caroll said that requires all stakeholders to move quickly and restore a sense of normalcy and enable children to return to school.

"It is quite important [for schools to open]," she said, while noting the large-scale devastation caused by the twin cyclones.

"One thing I thought is the kids want to see their friends. They have spent a lot of time time at home tucked up with their families, which is very important [during cyclones]. But they also need a little relief to see that their friends are okay."

She said no electricity and no running water is an issue across the country which means schools remain affected.

But she is hoping the situation will improve by next week and those children who can return to school will be able do so.

"I think it is important even if it is half days or two or three days a week for some kids that is enough because some are going to be traumatized," she said, adding Port Vila International School will have a "soft opening" on Wednesday.

"Sometimes they might just need to see their friends and go and play some soccer or just have a hug. They just need to laugh away from the anxiety and stress and trauma that they might have at home," she added.