Young parents are taking the first step towards recovery

 

Ensuring children have a roof over their heads where they are safe and protected after a natural disaster is just as important as access to clean water and food. Until there’s adequate shelter, many families can’t begin the journey to recovery.

Months after Typhoon Goni (#RollyPH) struck the Philippines and devastated homes and livelihoods, families are still trying to rebuild their loves – both physically and emotionally.

Joseph, 32, and his 28-year-old wife, Maricris, lost their home and almost everything they owned during the storm. Along with their three young children, they loved in a simple abode with cement floor, walls made of plywood and metal sheets as roofing.

Fortunately, the young family wasn’t home when the Category 5 typhoon made landfall in November last year. The family and their neighbors had already fled to safety in an evacuation center the day before. Goni almost destroyed the evacuation building, shattering windows and knocking over doors. Fierce winds of up to 195mph and rain flooded into the shelter, leaving the evacuees drenched and rattled. Had Joseph and his family instead stayed home when the storm struck, it could have been deadly. It was among the 207,000 houses destroyed or damaged during the typhoon.

“It was a horrifying moment especially for the children. They were crying hard. I hugged them entire time to make them feel safe,” shared Maricris.

When Joseph returned home, all that was left was the floor and a single wooden column. He had no choice but to scavenge the streets for debris to put up a temporary structure that was safe enough for his children to live in.

However, their makeshift house would tremble whenever a heavy rain hit their village. It served as a frightening reminder of the day the typhoon struck. “Ella Joyce, our 1-year-old and youngest child would immediately cry and hug me. She was traumatized from the storm,” the mother said.

In January, the family was one of the 600 households to receive a Shelter Repair Kit thanks to the funding by the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and co-implemented by OXFAM, ADRA, Coastal Core, PDRN, and World Vision. Each kit includes carpentry tools such as hammer, saw, two sets of nails, metal wire, boards of marine plywood, and G.I. sheets.

“We will use these shelter materials to build a stronger home. This will keep us safe and it will surely help our children recover from the trauma,” Joseph happily shared.

With the provided Shelter Repair Kit, the family can already start rebuilding their lives and move one from the strategy. It is the first step of securing a hopeful future especially for the children.