While The Salvation Army agrees the resilience of the Filipino people in the aftermath of the November 2013 Typhoon Haiyan is remarkable, there is still much work to be done.
Carolyn Barkhouse, a member of The Salvation Army in Canada, was recently deployed to assist with ongoing recovery and development efforts.
“I’m primarily based in Dulag, a city south of Tacloban on the island of Leyte in the middle of the country,” says Carolyn. “Leyte was the most heavily affected area of the Philippines by Typhoon Yolanda (called Typhoon Haiyan in Canada). Tacloban was damaged by flooding, including a 10-foot storm surge, while Dulag was affected by flooding and high winds. The Salvation Army has pending projects in both locations, as well as in the city of Santa Fe.
“The Salvation Army is currently working to repair partially damaged homes in Dulag. We are buying and distributing roofing kits (galvanized iron sheets, tools, nails, etc.) to 3,000 households. While we wait for materials to arrive we are finalizing the beneficiary list with the municipality.
“It is hot and humid here and rainy season comes in June. We hope and pray the materials arrive in time for people to repair their homes before the rain comes.”
The Salvation Army has been working in The Philippines since the 1930s, and operates feeding/nutrition centres, works with street children and offers skills training and micro-credit enterprises in addition to its church activities.
More than six months after Typhoon Haiyan ravaged The Philippines it is no longer front page news, yet the suffering and relief efforts continue.