Families Need Help Rebuilding Their Lives In The Aftermath Of Typhoon Odette
Typhoon Odette ravaged homes and communities in Central Philippines from December 16 to 17. The unfortunate event left thousands of families homeless and without livelihood. Here are some stories from families under our Family Strengthening Program in Iloilo. They and more than a hundred more families need our help to rebuild their homes and start over.
Faith and Her Family’s Narrow Escape to Safety
Faith and her family stand in front of the remnants of what was their home before the typhoon.
Faith and her family of six live in a shack made with bamboo and galvanized iron sheets near the bank of a stream beside a vast rice field. This keeps her home vulnerable to strong winds and flooding during typhoon season in the Philippines.
Since local authorities have warned communities that the typhoon might lash Central Philippines on the eve of 16 December until dawn the following morning, Faith and her husband chose to stay awake and look after their family as destructive typhoon-force winds began blowing off the roof of their hut. When they heard a screeching sound from a nearby mango tree, Faith immediately roused her four boys from sleep and hurried to their neighbor’s house for safety. And just as they reached the house a few meters away, the colossal mango tree got uprooted and fell on their humble home.
She just hugged her sons as tears streamed down her face. “We are thankful we are all safe, but it is despairing to see your home being destroyed right in front of your own eyes, and you can’t do anything about it,” she said. The only food they were able to store was rice which got soaked in rainwater, and her sons also lost all their books and other school supplies.
Edwin, her husband, works as a porter in a nearby rice mill. He earns four to three hundred pesos daily during harvest season, while he only earns one to one hundred fifty pesos a day during lean months. Faith used to be a street food vendor but lost her livelihood due to extended community lockdowns because of Covid-19.
Until now, they are still staying in their neighbor’s house. With the initial cash aid extended by SOS Children’s Villages, Faith and her husband have started putting up the foundations and roof of their home again. They admit they would need more help to rebuild and put up their small livelihood to provide for their family after the storm.
Losing What’s Left of Analyn and Her Family’s Resources
Analyn, her husband, and their daughter inside their home. Her three sons are currently staying with their relatives in a nearby town.
Analyn and her family of six live in a poor farming village in Calmaisan, Leganes town in Central Philippines. They were asleep when damaging cyclone-force winds began blowing off the roof of their hut by the kitchen.
Analyn woke up to the splash of rainwater coming into their house. She immediately roused her husband from sleep and tried tying their roof to a pail of water. But their efforts were unsuccessful when a portion of their roof was finally blown away.
Having more than a quarter of their house exposed to torrential rains, almost all of their belongings got drenched in rainwater, including food supplies like rice. As a low-income family who only subsist on rice farming and vegetable gardening, Analyn’s family needs immediate assistance to provide for their family’s needs and repair their home after the typhoon.
Sheryl and Her Family Coming Home to Nothing But Scraps of Wood and Mud Stained Clothes
Sheryl and her family stand in front of their previous home. They are now staying with relatives until they can rebuild their homes.
Sheryl works as a house helper while her husband Regicel is a construction worker, and they both earn two hundred seventy-five pesos daily. Together, they raise their two children, who are both in school. They live in a resettlement site for informal settlers.
Since local authorities have warned communities that the typhoon might lash Central Philippines on the eve of 16 December until dawn the following morning, Regicel contacted his sister, who lives next town. He asked if they could stay with them until the storm passed, knowing that their hut might not withstand a category 5 typhoon. And he was not wrong. On the morning of 17 December, they came home to a shack completely wrecked by the typhoon.
For now, Sheryl and her family stay with her sister-in-law. “We are hopeful we can rebuild soon so we can come home again,” Sheryl said. Sheryl and her family lost everything. The only items she could save were wet and dirty clothes that she started washing to have something to wear. Her family needs urgent help for food, school supplies for her son and daughter, and construction materials for their house.
Help Faith, Analyn, Sheryl, and other typhoon survivors rebuild their homes. Donate by visiting bit.ly/SOSTyphoonOdette and select your preferred donation platform: GCash, Paymaya, coins.ph, GrabPay, or mobile banking options.