Last words on the Philippines: Helping Yolanda’s victims

I was supposed to go on a reportage to Tacloban, North Visayas, a city that was completely destroyed by the recent typhoon. Unfortunately, it has been raining there for two weeks and I had to cancel y trip. Though, I’d like to share the experience and work of my friend Janice, who is trying to help this region…

<< Typhoon Yolanda was a super destructive typhoon, the worst in the world ever in history! It claimed so many human lives and left massive and widespread destruction inTacloban City, my own hometown.

<< For a week, there was a news blackout and we could not even hear of who survived and who perished. We could only see the very scary images on TV. So I went to Tacloban on the 7th day after the typhoon to search for my 81 yr. old Aunt, (the older sister of my dad) and 4 sisters of my mom ages, 84,83,82 and 76. Thank God they all survived. In fact every member of our large family, both my father and mother’s side in Tacloban survived. Very sad though, how they lost almost everything in life.

<< And then the question was: What can I do to help further???

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<< There are already many food relief and medical missions there now from all over the Philippines and from a lot of international agencies.  Few nights ago I met and shook the hands of French and British soldiers who are extending help to Tacloban. I also had the privilege to bow low in gratitude before two Japanese soldiers who were buying stacks of plastic water of barrels at a grocery here in Cebu for their mission in Tacloban…

<< Though, with this scale of devastation that claimed the lives of loved ones, wiped out people’s homes and livelihood, the first casualty is the degradation of human dignity. Predators and opportunists like drug traffickers, cyber pornography syndicates, human traffickers prostitution syndicates are bound to proliferate. That’s why it is so important, and urgent, to also work on people’s trauma. So, together with the Foundation I’ve been presiding for the last seven years, we’ve decided to organize and deliver a Stress and Trauma Management Relief Mission (TLWCF) to the north of Cebu and Tacloban City.

<< This is an aspect of need, which is not being addressed by anyone. To us a TLWCF, it is the core of the Human soul that needs to heal first, before any restoration or rehabilitation can follow.

<< Our targets are Elementary and high school teachers and children and youth who are very vulnerable to predators during these desperate times. We have already been to the Northern towns of Cebu that were worst impacted by the typhoon and we plan to go to Tacloban City very soon.

<< Another step is going to help the people in earning an income so that they can rebuild their lives.

<< My furniture company – Janice minor Export – is currently working on furniture’s designs like tables and chairs, benches, lamps, mirrors and Chandeliers using recycled broken house parts, broken galvanized roofing sheets and uprooted trees and branches, in short, debris material of which there a mountains and mountains of in Tacloban City.

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<< We will help impacted people to learn a new craft:  making furniture and decorative accessories using recycled debris material. The company can initially finance the start up by sending our furniture makers with finished model samples to Tacloban. We will prepare tool kits that will be used for the specific designs we introduce. The finishing treatment and accessorizing the base product will be done at the factory for the final added value and quality assurance. We will market the products immediately in Cebu and Manila during the International shows and we will promote them to the International market as well… many challenges ahead of us still ! >>