Philippines (MNN/WR) — Up until last November, Uldarica Miano lived a relatively happy life in Calubian, the Philippines. She was a well-loved mother and grandmother who lived by herself and ran a small business. What happened on November 8, 2013, however, changed everything.
On that day, horrific winds and rains of a super typhoon ravaged several islands of the Philippines. Known locally as “Yolanda” and internally as “Typhoon Haiyan,” this storm brought waves up to five meters (16 feet) high that surged inland like a tsunami and destroyed nearly everything in their path. Power lines were knocked out, roads were destroyed, and entire villages were washed away.
By the time the storm was over, Typhoon Haiyan had killed 6,109 people and destroyed 1.1 million homes. This included Uldarica’s home, which was completely destroyed when three coconut trees fell on it.
“Yolanda was no good; it has destroyed everything,” Uldarica said.
Through the generous support of people across North America and around the world, World Renew has been blessed to be able to respond to Typhoon Haiyan for the past six months. This has included the provision of urgently-needed food, hygiene items, medical supplies, water filters, cooking stoves, generators, dishes, mosquito nets, sleeping mats, cooking pots, and other essential items to 8,276 households. It has also included training community leaders to provide trauma counseling, and providing cash to families in exchange for work on community projects.
All of this was made possible thanks to the efforts of 10 volunteer International Relief Managers and dozens of World Renew staff (both locally hired and from the home office).
Through World Renew, Uldarica received food and non-food items such as solar-powered lights. What’s more, the World Renew cash-for-work program enabled the people of Calubian to work together to repair Uldarica’s home.
“I am very thankful to World Renew, because without them, I wouldn’t have anywhere to live,” smiled Uldarica. “Because of them, I believe I will survive.”
Six months after this disaster, World Renew sees many signs of hope as people continue to clear debris, rebuild their communities, and re-start their businesses.
“The people of the Philippines are resilient,” said Wayne deJong, Director of Disaster Response and Rehabilitation for World Renew. “Despite this resiliency, we know that the road ahead will not be an easy one. We expect to be working alongside Haiyan survivors for the next two years. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.”
To read more about World Renew’s response to Typhoon Haiyan over the past six months, please read their Six Month Update. This update also includes financial information for the project to date.