When Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) hit Leyte, Samar, and other areas of the Philippines, thousands were killed, and over 600 schools, many churches, and thousands upon thousands of homes were destroyed. Due to the level of devastation, the corruption involved in the ineffective relief, the NPA (New People’s Army) in the area, and other serious factors, we are working to create a coalition of NGO’s for Relief (food and hygienic supplies), Restoration (medical treatment and trauma counseling), and Rebuilding (of schools, churches, houses, and lives) in Leyte and Samar.
We have developed a team on the ground in both Tacloban and Ormoc, and a system of operations and communication. We have traveled throughout Leyte and Samar to make a detailed assessment of the needs, and have been delivering relief food and supplies, as well as bringing in teams of doctors to the neediest areas.
There are many children who have lost their parents and have no one to protect them, so there is a great need for a center for children at risk in the Tacloban – Palo – Tanawan area. There are so many areas filled with children at risk, and so many hungry people without a roof over their head, that we need many teams and a continual flow of finances to meet the overwhelming needs.
The U.N. reports that 12 million people have been affected by the Typhon and 4 million people have been displaced. Those who have been left behind are trying to rebuild their homes on top of the ruins of their old ones. The main industries of Leyte and Samar are coconut products, rice, and fishing, but tragically most of the coconut trees have been destroyed, as have the rice fields, and most of the fishing boats. Most of the crops and fruit trees were also destroyed, so there is little food for Leyte and Samar, and the condition will last a long time. It takes 7 years for new coconut trees to grow to fruition, so the great needs of Leyte and Samar will continue for years to come.