(PHILIPPINES) Last year, we were blessed to be able to travel to the Philippines in early 2014 to help World Renew with its response to Typhoon Haiyan. We were thrilled to now be able to return to the Philippines in 2015 and be back on the island of Panay to support Program Manager Jeff Cosico and his team.
World Renew is working with communities to address their needs for safe and secure long-term shelter, restored livelihoods and continued psycho-social support, especially for children.
We have seen miraculous changes happen in these communities since our time here last year as a result of the many donations given by people around the world. Donors, both private and public, have given generously to help the people of the Philippines rebuild their homes and lives after Typhoon Haiyan struck.
In Panay, for example, 200 homes have been built by trained carpenters. These are safe houses, able to withstand 200 kmph winds. It is incredulous to stand on a hillside and observe the multitude of safe houses standing on the opposite hills. It was wonderful to be led by the hand through many of the homes by the excited homeowners as they show us their pride and joy.
"In Panay 200 homes have been built by trained carpenters. These are safe houses, able to withstand 200 kmph winds. It was wonderful to be led by the hand through many of the homes by the excited homeowners as they show us their pride and joy." – Hilda
We are seeing livelihoods restored with sewing machines being distributed to seamstresses in the towns where we work. They have an income once again and are able to buy food for their families. We are seeing pigs and chickens being distributed to farmers so they can once again make a living. Fishing boats are active again with World Renew logos painted on their sides. Soon, women in the community will be cleaning and cutting fish and preparing them, as part of restoring their fishing livelihoods. All of this has come about since we left last June!
As part of World Renew’s livelihood program, wheelchairs have also been provided to children with physical challenges. These wheelchairs will enable more mobility to children and to their mothers as well. It will give them a chance to venture further from home and offer opportunities to grow a garden or visit with a neighbor.
Lolita is one of the participants in World Renew’s programs in Panay Island. She has ten children. Ten years ago, her husband passed away, leaving her to care for her large family. She made her living by sewing and selling clothes with a treadle sewing machine. When Typhoon Haiyan struck, her machine was destroyed, together with her only source of income.
As part of its livelihood recovery program, Lolita received a new sewing machine so that she can resume her work as the neighborhood seamstress. She clasped our hands saying, “Thank you for enabling me to feed my children again.”
Two of Lolita’s daughters are also taking part in the livelihood program, and will be receiving some ducks and a pig.
In addition to livelihoods, World Renew is also working with Lolita and her family to repair their house, because it was partially destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan.
As part of World Renew’s psycho-social support program, the psycho-social support team recognized the importance of new shoes for children because many were wearing ill-fitting,worn out or no shoes. The children often need to travel down slippery slopes to attend school and then climb up again after school, with the risk of injury. When it rains, their feet are constantly wet, making them susceptible to diseases. These shoes will help their feet stay dry and safe for a longer period of time when there is rain.
Changes are happening and we are excited to be here to see it and support World Renew’s staff in making these a reality. All these changes are possible only because of your prayers and the donations made by you. Thank you…or as the people here say, “Salamat”!
Please continue to keep them and World Renew’s ministry in your prayers.
International Relief Managers