How you personally can help the victim of Super-Typhoon Haiyan in Phillippines.

I know, this post is not about Early Education, World Schooling or parenting. It seems to not go along with the theme of this blog, but there are times when one need to make her voice heard using any avenue, every stage and climbing every soap box. Because nothing it too much.

And yes this post is about children… and their parents… and their families — lost, hungry and scared, not sure how they will survive till the aid will reach them or how they will fare after that, rebuilding their lives from scratch.

It is about people of Philippines.

I have personal friends in Philippines or with their families there. Fortunately their families are fine. And all of them, being fortunate enough to survive turned around and went to far places to help their fellow countryman. Some did it in person, others held Fundraisers and sent help.

I also know of those who are not Phillippinos, but live there for over decade and consider that country their home. They have not evacuated or stayed put in a safe place. From the very day one they were going to the very midst of hardest hit rural areas to bring aid and to head the rescue efforts.  DSC08202

One of our Foundation partner NGOs, Cebu-based Rise Above Foundation, are going above and beyond the call of duty. Every day they do all they can to help the people in a small village of Camoboan and the area of Tabogon.

Large Relief Organizations focusing on highly populated metropolitan areas. Which is the decision that they had to rightly make, as there is no enough resources and volunteers to cover all the affected areas.

Small rural areas, like Camoboan, have to rely on themselves, on local heroes and leaders, who headed the call and on the small local volunteer organizations.

Here is one of the first accounts from on the ground volunteers at Raise Above-Cebu.

It has been some hectic days here at Rise Above Foundation in Cebu after the Super-Typhoon Haiyan. We were so fortunate in Cebu City, that the Typhoon changed direction slightly when it made landfall, so we ended up in the outskirts of the typhoon with heavy winds and rain. There were only minor damages. Now we are helping the victims!

 Rise Above Foundation Cebu, Inc. is a NGO focusing on improving the quality of life for poor Philippine families in and around Cebu City.

 Immediately we mobilized our efforts and made a surveying trip up north to Tabogon, on the east coast of Cebu Island only 14 km south of Bogo on the north tip of the island. The typhoon had hit the area full force of gusts of wind of almost 200 mph. (When the Super Storm Katrina hit the southern part of the USA, wind gusts of about 120 mph were measured, Haiyan hit the central Philippines with gusts of winds measuring 190 mph).

 DSC08218 It was like driving into a war-zone. Trees were uprooted and broken, and houses were badly damaged. So many families had lost their houses and livelihood, which is mostly farming and fishing.

The fields were brown from the salt water that was carried far inland, their crops were broken and ruined, their fishing boats smashed to pieces. So sad! We were the first ones from outside the area that had come there.

This is the countryside, and the big relief organizations are focusing on the heavily populated areas, so these villages have had no visit from any government officials, and are left to fend for themselves.

Sally Kelly, who hosted one of our dental missions in the past, is taking action locally, employing people who come to her for help, and pay them daily wages and helps them with food. She had built a resort over the last few years to bring in some funding to the area through tourism, and now her place was heavily damaged.

We set up our packing and distribution area at her resort, which worked well with local volunteers. We distributed tarps, rope, nails, buckets, basins, water containers, kerosene, household items, toiletries and food such as rice and canned goods. People were so thankful that someone was there for them. 

DSC08255 Every day we are sending teams there with more relief goods.

 We are working toward:

1.       Immediate need, which is listed above

2.       Long term need – such as getting the fishermen new boats so they can support themselves and their families. The farmers need seeds to re-plant their fields, chickens, piglets, goats that will help produce eggs, meat and milk. Their houses need to be built again so they can move out of the elementary school and have a home again.

 

If you would like to help this particular village of Camoboan you can donate directly to the volunteer relief efforts here (Kindly specify Relief Efforts/Rise Above -EEECF)

Just imagine we are talking not just immediate relief. Raise Above volunteers are committed to help that small community to not just survive, but raise again from ruins of despair. They are there to stay and see it happen.

Rough cost estimate of what YOUR donation can do:

1.200 US$ can build a small house

250 US$ can build a small “banka” boat

Today I help a family in despair, tomorrow someone will lend me a helping hand. Let us all be a part of this chain reaction!