It’s been more than a week after the strongest-ever typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, but many survivors still have no food, clean water or shelter. Many roads are still blocked and communications are hardly operating in remote and small areas, victims are getting more frustrated and scared by lack of supplies.
We’ve got some news from one of our campaigners who is running a FundRazr campaign to help families in her home town Albuera, Leyte. Using a strong family connection in the town Iris and her husband Jason have managed to buy and deliver food to families in need. Taking into account a damaged infrastructure and bad communications it was a real challenge to organize a purchase of necessities from the neighboring provinces and its delivery to Albuera by friends and volunteers via boats.
The campaign has not only raised over $3,600 in 6 days, but also the first shipment has already reached the destination.
We asked Iris and Jason Tepelmann to shed the light on the situation in this devastated area and how survivors are dealing with the tragedy:
“The local economy is shut down with much of the community’s livelihood based on fishing and farming, which were severely impacted. There is simply no easy way for people to feed themselves without external help.
We also know that in addition to the scarcity of food, there is a serious lack of available medical care. The only maternity clinic is closed because of damage and lack of supplies. However, it’s no surprise that new life waits for nothing, and families are left to birth new babies without any medical care. These stories are both immensely joyful and uplifting as well as heartbreaking and a frightening time for these mothers. While new life continues to be born, the natural pace of age and sickness also marches on, leaving many people to struggle without care that would otherwise be available.
We are particularly drawn to the damage to the schools. Even before this disaster we have had a strong connection and mission to help provide assistance to the schools by giving supplies to the kids for the past two years. It is this past work, along with the understanding that kids benefit greatly by returning to “normal” schedules and school in the wake of disasters, that we are concerned by the early reports that the schools may not reopen this year. We hope to provide some relief to this problem as soon as we can.
Something to keep in mind when thinking of the Philippines and the people affected, is that this is a culture and community where it is very common to have large families; many children. The census reflects a community with more children than adults. These children need help, our help, to survive major events like this.
The total lack of electricity in the area has plunged everyone into darkness at night. This reminds me (Iris) of my childhood. I grew up in Albuera and we did not receive electricity service till I was a teenager (by the way I’m not that old). Following the typhoon I am brought back to these childhood times, when we didn’t have the conveniences of modern life; paved roads, packaged foods in markets, and lights at night. This single event has essentially undone the past 30 years of work.
The mayor of Albuera is reporting 96% of structures with extensive or total damage. It will likely be weeks if not months before all services are restored.
Everyone giving their time and money to help, need to know that it is helping, food is getting there, houses will be rebuilt, schools will reopen, and lights will come back on eventually, but we can’t stop now because there is still so much to do.
Our hope is that these news and messages will inspire the good people of the world to help others in need, to act selflessly, and with a good moral conscience. Many thanks to everyone who has helped; words are not nearly enough to express our gratitude!”
Please support fundraising efforts of Iris and Jason, share their campaign and donate! We are blessed to have such kind of people who do care about their communities, empower their friends and family all over the world to provide emotional and financial support to those in need.
This family is doing their best to rebuild lives of Albuera’s inhabitants. You can join and help feed another 750 families and even more… Even small actions can make a huge difference to a person’s life!