Reygie, 24, a father of two, shared that life in the past year was quite difficult for his family.
“Most farmers failed to harvest their crops because typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) devastated their lands. Without harvest, we don’t have work,” Reygie said, adding that the recent calamity also killed nine of his 10 chickens.
Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) devastated the province of Cagayan, north of the Philippines, in September 2018, a few weeks short before harvest season.
Reygie works as farm laborer, earning around Php300 for a day’s work. On the side, he does carpentry jobs which also provides him an extra income of Php300. But carpentry work is not always available in Reygie’s village.
“I was fortunate that our neighbor needed some house repair. At least I am able to provide food for my family on a daily basis,” he said.
At times, when he has no income, they would loan from their relatives. “Just to survive a few days until I find a way again to earn,” he shared.
If there’s any solace in Reygie’s life it is to see his family at the end of the day. “Even if life has been difficult, I am still happy to be with my family, to see my daughter, Camille, 4, and son MJ, 6 months. They are the source of my happiness.”
In another town, a mother also expressed how life last year was unfriendly to her. “My husband died months back leaving me to look for ways to provide for our two children. I have been a stay-at-home mother. I don’t know any job,” Jennifer, 22, shared. However, before the year ended and while she was in that difficult situation, she found a new love.
When typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) devastated their house, Jennifer’s family decided to move to a location which is much safer from flood and strong winds. They ended up in a place few walks away from the village center. This means that Jennifer will have an easy access to most government programs.
Both Reygie’s and Jennifer’s families are recipients of World Vision’s relief items. Funded by the Disaster Relief Fund, Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, World Vision has so far distributed household essential kits to 6,880 families in the province of Cagayan, north of the Philippines. The kits contain hygiene essentials, kitchen set, bed mats and sheets.
“I am using the mosquito net and bed sheet,” Jennifer said, showing where she keeps the items.
Reygie has also used the mosquito net and bed sheet. “I was planning to buy a new mosquito net because the old one had lots of patches and has been used for years already. I couldn’t buy a new one due to lack of money. When I saw that one of the items included this, I immediately thought that God must read my thoughts.”