Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Couple of Stories of Hope from the Rubble of Typhoon Haiyan

Catholic Relief Services Appeal
Three weeks have passed since  monster Typhoon Haiyan brought unimaginable devastation to dozens of communities in the central islands of the Philippines. By some estimates, the death toll  had surpassed 5,600 by the end of November. "Counting the dead in the Philippines is grim, slow, and frustratingly inexact work," said Eric McClam of NBC News

Recovery efforts in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines are ongoing with continued needs that remain staggering. According to the United Nations, 13.2 million were affected; 4.33 million people were displaced; and 1 million homes were damaged. In addition, 2.5 million people require urgent food assistance.

Here is the list I posted a couple of weeks ago of agencies continuing to provide relief.

Diosdado and Melicia
In the midst of all the destruction, there are some stories of hope  Church World Service recently posted a touching piece entitled Ongoing Recovery Efforts

Photo Church World Service
Diosdado Aballe and his wife, Melicia, are sugarcane farmers in the Anonang Norte area of the Philippines. When the typhoon struck, their livelihood was gone - along with their home. When Melicia recounts their loss, she can’t stop her tears.
 But when she received emergency relief supplies through CWS partner ACT Alliance, those tears turned into joy. This family - and many others throughout this devastated area - received food, medical supplies, shelter and much more. Now, they don’t have to worry about meeting their daily needs while they begin to recover ... and CWS will continue to help in the long-term as they rebuild their livelihood.

“Thank you to the people behind this relief operation,” Melicia says.
(Note: Diosdado is a common Spanish name in The Philippines. You probably won't find too many people with that name in Latin America or Spain. The name  has a beautiful meaning: God-given).

The Lutheran World Relief blog also tells the story about one of the survivors of the typhoon. The piece, written by Loren Hyatt, is entitled "A Mother’s Prayer for Survival and Recover."
Leonora sells dried fish, earning 100 pesos (approximately $2.30) on successful day of selling. With this income, Leonora buys food for her family, pays for children’s education expenses and buys other necessary household items. Even when business is good, however, Leonora finds it difficult to support the growing needs of her five children.

In the aftermath of the storm, Leonora’s customers can no longer afford to buy the dried fish she sells. To support their family, Leonora’s oldest child, Leonisa, migrated to the city of Cebu to work as a housekeeper. It is difficult for her family to be apart. “This is our first time being separated. I do not want her to go, but things are really difficult.”

“I just pray that I can have the means to repair our home. My income is not even enough for our daily needs and seeing our house like this makes me remember that horrific day.”

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