A year ago today Hurricane Yolanda hit the Philippines devastating many of the islands…
At the time, while looking at various videos around the impact I came across one that implied the intensity might have been increased by US Military technology… for most people this is laughable, as if they would do such a thing!
For me, I had to do something to balance the scales and so asked fellow Rotarians in the Philippines what they needed and it became apparent that boats made the most sense… they had lost 100,000 boats in the storm which meant that villagers were struggling to feed themselves.
I reached out to local Rotary Clubs and over the last year have raised enough money for 9 boats… I would have liked to have achieved more but my focus needed to be on my own business. Special thanks to Windsor & Eton Rotary Club & High Wycombe Rotary Club.
It was initially thought that a boat that a village could use, with an engine & nets would cost £500… my main contact Rotarian Jesse Tanchanco was able to negotiate a better price on the first two boats, coming in around £800… since then the government have now said they will pay for the engines & the nets are being provided by the Fishermen’s Association… meaning we can get boats for around £125 each.
Enjoy the pictures of the fishermen’s wives who are learning how to smoke the fish, so they can sell them and buy other things that the village needs… much of this training being provided by Rotary… community & Rotary at work.
I asked Jesse for an update the other day on how things had improved, in relation to where they were before the storms…
Jesse speaking before the then prospective members of the Albuera Womens RCC on how to form an RCC. Also in photo is the club president of RC Ormoc, the town Mayor of Albuera and the then DGE of our D3780.
Thanks for your email and continuing concern for the fishermen who lost their boats and mean of livelihood as a result of the devastation brought by Typhoon Haiyan. On November 8, 2014, the 1st year anniversary of the disaster will be commemorated in the different parts of Central Visayas which was badly hit by the typhoon.
Your initial donation of 2 boats to the fishing town of Albuera, Leyte are being fully utilized by the beneficiaries. We assisted them to organize a Rotary Community Corps (RCC) and taught them (primarily the spouses of the fishermen) how to prepare smoke and dried fish from their catch which they can sell at a higher price and to preserve their catch longer. With the added income, they were able to purchase additional smoking and drying equipment.
Your new donation will be able to produce a total of 7 boats which will be donated to the fishermen at another group of Islands called Busuanga and Coron in the province of Palawan. They were also badly hit because this was where typhoon Haiyan exited the Philippines after devastating the other islands (Provinces of Leyte, Capiz and parts of Cebu) facing the Pacific Ocean where it originally entered.
The main organization responsible for rebuilding and rehabilitation is the Philippine government. Remember that more than 2 million people were affected. To date, less than 50 percent have been restored due to delays in the releases of the much needed funding. Politics seems to get in the way when and where they are not needed.
Thank God for the private foreign and local organizations who have stepped in where the government seemed to have failed. Otherwise the figures could have been much lower. Unfortunately, many of the International relief organizations have left and only a handful remains.
Many people still lives in tents or other temporary shelters, many schools are still in disrepair and businesses are still trying to get back on their feet.
It is still a bleak scenario and full recovery will take a little while longer unless the government steps up their efforts…
If you feel you would like to help… I’d like to make it 10+ boats for the year… a donation of £125 would buy another boat… this can be made up of a single or multiple donations… it might be you’d like to donate some money towards a school… feeding the orphans… or something else you feel the people of the Philippines could benefit from.
If you send me a cheque payable to Windsor & Eton Rotary Club with a note saying what you’d like it to go towards… I will make sure that all the money gets to Jesse’s Rotary Club & he will ensure it is spent at source… Rotary don’t do admin fees 😉
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