TYPHOON SURVIVORS AND DOMINICAN FAMILY PHILIPPINES: THANK YOU TO ALL DONORS

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DOMINICAN REPORT: What we saw, heard and touched
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TYPHOON SURVIVORS AND DOMINICAN FAMILY PHILIPPINES: THANK YOU TO ALL DONORS
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UPDATES OF OUR REHABILITATION AND LIVELIHOOD PROGRAMS FOR THE TYPHOON SURVIVORS IN THE PHILIPPINES

January 2014
After Christmas and after New Year, together with other sisters and volunteers, we made an ocular visit to the places devastated by typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) to assess the kind of help we can offer the survivors. We went to Cebu, Tacloban, Leyte, Samar, Iloilo, Capiz and Antique. It took us several hours and days to travel by land and air to reach the different places and islands devastated by the typhoon. I have seen several photos and videos in the newspapers, television and the internet of the destructions brought about by typhoon Haiyan and yet it was a different story when one is right in the midst of the devastation. When I saw what I saw, I felt so helpless, I said, what help can we offer, where can we begin, how and to whom. Everybody needs help! Yet at the sight of the magnitude of destruction I felt paralyzed and helpless. The situation is indeed terrible and pitiful. I thanked God I was not there… I don’t know if I could have survived.

Last Jan 4, 2014 we had a meeting of the Dominican Family Justice, Peace and Care of Creation (JPCC) group with about 25 brothers, sisters and laity. We invited the CBCP Office on Women and other NGOs, Tabang Visayas and Visayan Forum that we were partnering with, since we need more hands, minds and resources to give impact to the lives of the survivors.

GUIUAN, SAMAR
Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) made its first landfall in the Philippines in Guiuan, Samar. Most people we talked to said that together with the typhoon was an earthquake. But there was no recorded earthquake on that day; we presumed that the wind was so strong and powerful that it almost shook the ground. We saw dead coconut trees either uprooted or headless everywhere, thousands upon thousands, mountains upon mountains. These trees are the main source of livelihood of the people in these places since most of them are farmers. They earn their living by making use of every part of the coconut trees; roots, trunks, leaves, etc. It will take 5 or more years for the farmers to harvest the products of coconut trees. We will provide help for the following: a) Coconut tree seedlings, b) Vegetable seedlings, c) Fertilizers.
 
ANIBONG, TACLOBAN
(P)This is Anibong in Tacloban one of the places very badly damaged by typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) last Nov. 8. There were 5 or 7 big cargo ships that were powerfully tossed on top of the houses by both the wind and storm surge burying people alive (I really find this unimaginable). When we visited the place a child’s corpse was found underneath the green ship (further end of the second photo) by workers who were trying to figure out how to put back to the sea those ships. Some dead bodies buried under these ships have not been recovered yet.

We have identified 58 families that we will help for the following: a) Materials to rebuild their house, b) Fishing boats and sari-sari store for livelihood.

BALASAN, ILOILO
This is in Balasan, Iloilo where a small community lives at the back of the school of the Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary, which was also damaged. Most of the houses here were destroyed.

We were able to identify at least 32 families that needed help. We will provide help for the following: a) Materials to rebuild the houses, b) Livelihood programs for the families, c) Scholarship for girls vulnerable to human trafficking.

This is St. Anne Catholic School of the Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary, Philippines. We have extended financial help to the congregation to help rebuild the school. The building is now reconstructed and students are back to school

ANTIQUE
We had a meeting with Fr. Edione and other leaders of the Social Action Center in Antique. Help was requested for 2 islands, Kulasi and Caluya where houses and their seaweeds livelihood were all destroyed by the typhoon. We could not reach these islands as they were quite far.

We will help the Social Action Center with the following: a) Materials to rebuild houses, b) 3-plot seaweeds garden, c) Poultry, or hog, or goat raising to identified families.

BUSUANGA, PALAWAN
Typhoon Haiyan made its last landfall in the Philippines in Busuanga Island in Palawan. We have Dominican Sisters who gave relief goods, food and water to the victims a week after the typhoon. Fr. Amurao, the Parish Priest, requested help for his Church and his parishioners.

We have started sending the following: a) G.I. corrugated sheets for the roof, b) Marine plywood to build fishing boats.

HELP TO DAMAGED CHURCHES
At Guiuan Church, cash donation to the parish priest. The Church totally destroyed, we had Sunday Mass outside of the Church. At Sapao Church, cash donation to the parish priest. The Church is now Roof-less and wall-less
 
AKLAN: Public school children with the classroom supplies they received. To the donors in chorus they said “We love you. Thank you very much.”
DIOCESE OF BORONGAN SAMAR
A chapel in Hernani, Diocese of Borongan, Samar was very badly hit by the storm surge. The people tried to put it up again using materials taken from the debris scattered everywhere.

After the meeting of the Parish Priests of the different chapels and churches together with the Bishop of the Diocese of Borongan, Samar they have identified their most immediate needs and they requested help for the following: a) musical instruments, b) vestments, c) vessels, d) altar linens, e) statues of Jesus, Mary and saints of their chapels.

GOODS SHARED TO THE TYPHOON SURVIVORS FROM DONATIONS RECEIVED
Distributing tarpaulins to put on top of roofless houses in Salcedo, Samar to temporarily shield them from rain and the sun. Sisters and volunteers packing and distributing relief goods, food and water to typhoon survivors in Cebu, Tacloban, Leyte, Samar, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Antique and Palawan.
 
FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO THE MEMBERS OF THE DOMINICAN FAMILY AFFECTED BY THE TYPHOON DAMAGED DOMINICAN SCHOOL BUILDING
1. Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of the Philippines (Iloilo and Capiz)
2. Rosarian Dominican Sisters (Capiz)
3. Dominican Daughters of the Immaculate Mother (Bohol)
 
DAMAGED HOUSES OF THE DOMINICAN SISTERS
1. Dominican Sisters Daughters of the Most Holy Rosary of Pompeii (7 Sisters)
2. Congregation of the Daughters of St. Dominic (4 Sisters)
3. Dominican Sisters of Blessed Imelda (4 Sisters)
4. Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena (3 Sisters)
5. Dominican Daughters of the Immaculate Mother (1 Sister)
6. Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of Remedies (1 Sister)

For more picture click here.

REPORT PREPARED BY: Sr. Cecilia Espenilla, OP (DSI-Philippines JPCC CHAIR)

(23 January 2014)