By Tammy Wang, Chief Operating Officer
I’ve been in the Philippines working with our partner here, the Center for Community Transformation for the past couple of months. The head of CCT had asked if we could help CCT in building its 2016-2020 strategic vision and plan, so I’ve been here meeting with the leaders and staff and facilitating planning sessions. I was in Manila when typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, devastating many of the communities that CCT works in. After the typhoon, all staff were ‘all hands on deck’, including me, jumping to help in the relief and recovery efforts. I visited some of our community members last week.
On our visit to deliver relief goods and check on some community partners in a small village in Estancia, a fishing town destroyed by the typhoon, in the midst of piles of metal sheets, piles of snapped branches and fallen trees, housing materials scattered, and even cinderblocks shattered and knocked down, we found a community of people with huge smiles, excitement, and determination to move on and rebuild their lives. The innocence of children who had just experienced a traumatic storm, survived, but now homeless, just being children, enjoying the company of other children, posing with huge smiles, begging for photos to be taken of them. First 2 children, then 3…4… 5… the next thing we knew, all the children in that little village were running over to greet us with their huge smiles. Their joy was contagious.
CCT is committed to the long-term rehabilitation of the areas affected by the typhoon. In just helping our staff and community partners put a basic roof over their heads and re-start destroyed businesses, the costs are estimated to cost over $2 million US. Please continue to keep the Philippines and CCT in your prayers, and please invite your friends to join us.