Monday 15 May 2017
New homes in the Philippines after the Yolanda-Haiyan typhoon in the Visayas Islands

Already at the end of 2013, thanks to your help, AMU had been able to cope with the severe problems caused by the typhoon and support local people.

During the first months of the emergency phase, over 2,600 boxes were distributed with long lasting food supply, medicines, bottled water, electric torches, waterproof tarpaulins, mosquito nets, mattresses, blankets, clothing and personal hygiene products to the families of Panay and Leyte Islands.

Subsequently, a mid-term and long-term project phase began with AFNonlus – Action for New Families Association Onlus, committed to reconstruct some of the homes that were completely destroyed or heavily damaged by the typhoon. In the meanwhile AMU delivered 20 scholarships to facilitate and allow access to education for girls and boys from poor families affected by the typhoon.
The key aspect was therefore to think about making these populations less vulnerable to future events, providing them with material infrastructures such as homes, but also with training and a preparation to improve their own economic conditions and that of their community.

What happens now?

Three families of the local community that used to reside on informal land, in shacks, before the typhoon, haven’t had so far the economic opportunity to rebuild a solid home, despite having managed for the past two years to find some sort of housing or to repair somehow their own home.

For this reason, in May 2017, thanks to the donations that AMU has already received, a project for the reconstruction of homes for typhoon victims has begun. The project is expected to end in early 2018.

The stories of the beneficiary families

Alan’s Family – Before the typhoon they lived in a shack near the sea, but it was completely swept away by typhoon. In the tragedy he lost everything but his family members were saved and were accommodated in one of the community families, also struck by the typhoon. Recently,
Alan died of a tumour, and his wife has to take care of their four children, all in schooling age.
Anna’s family – They live in an illegal shack in a poor area of the city, they do not own the land and they could be evicted at any time. They have repaired the house the best they could, and to this day the shack is shared between the parents, 3 children and the companion and the son of one of them. They live on the poor earnings of her father’s work as a street vendor of food snacks, and Anna’s work as a parish secretary: a total of 5 Euros per day. The other children, married, live in precarious economic situations as well and can only sometimes help their parents.
Josefa’s family – They live in a shack on land that is not owned by them, in a narrow alley and with little light and air. “With the donations we received earlier, we could buy a small 70 sq m plot in a more secure area, and we have a small but dignified cottage project.”
The spirit of fraternity has also sparked the local families who had already solved their problems. So a family that had their home already repaired, offered to shelter Alan’s family up to the construction of their home. Another family of the community, having a large enough land, decided to give a share of it to build other houses for other families.

With the spirit of participation and reciprocity, the candidate families will, depending on their potential, contribute with workforce or economic contribution to the cost of building their home.


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