“I trust Nanay”
Faith, 11, scoops a heap of black sand with her shovel. When strands of hair dangle down her forehead, she tucks it behind her ears with her soiled hands, unintentionally putting dirt on her face. Sweat trickles down her neck as she briefly rests and glances at her other younger siblings helping her.
“Our house was swept away during the typhoon. I am helping Nanay (mom) build a new one again,” Faith explains. Her family has moved to a nearby evacuation area after their village chief advised all families living in the coastal town to evacuate hours before Typhoon Nina (Nock-ten) lashed the Bicol Region, west of the Philippines.
Faith adds, “I was sad to see that our house was no longer here when we came back. Our belongings were scattered everywhere.”
Typhoon Nina battered several provinces in the Bicol Region on Christmas eve. More than 1.5 million people have been affected, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported. The numbers are expected to increase once information becomes available from areas that are not yet reached due to communication and logistical challenges hampering the relief efforts.
Faith’s father died years ago. Her mother, Marisol, 37, is a vegetable vendor and has been raising her four children herself. She says, “It’s difficult to be a single parent especially when things like this happen. Good thing my relatives live nearby. They are also helping us build our house.”
The family is currently staying at a relative’s house, which, Marisol admits, is difficult because the house is small and they have to adjust with the owners.
“We have to finish our house the soonest so we can move out,” Marisol says.
Marisol borrowed Php6,000 ($120) to build their house. The amount has to be paid for six months with interest. With meager earnings from selling vegetables, Marisol says it will be a difficult six months for her. “This is life,” she sighs.
Faith did not just lose her house but also her notebooks and school bags. “My bag and some of my books were soaked. I cannot use them anymore,” she says.
World Vision’s response aims to support and complement the government-led efforts as well as work with other non-government organizations in the affected areas. During the first month, World Vision will provide lifesaving essentials like shelter kits, kitchen kits and other non-food items to initially 2,000 typhoon-affected families living in hard-hit municipalities Camarines Sur and Albay provinces. The government declared a state of calamity for both provinces.
Despite what happened, Faith still hopes that her family will make it through because she believes in her mother. “I trust Nanay,” she says.World Vision/January 2, 2017