Project Philippines takes on typhoon devastation
During the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, it easy to forget victims of a natural disaster on the other side of the planet.
However, one Kamloops organization dedicated to relief and improvement efforts in Th michael kors bag ird World countries isn missing a beat over the holidays.
Developing World Connections is ramping up to several projects in the new year, starting with ongoing rebuilding activities in the Philippines, which is still recovering from the catastrophic November typhoon.
The organization is seeking volunteers for a mid March trip to the village of Tabog michael kors bag on on Cebu Island, which was laid to waste by typhoon Yolanda.
very northern part, the small islands that are part of Cebu, 80 to 90 per cent of all facilities were wiped out, said Wayne McRann, Developing World Connections president.
the homes, schools, resort communities flattened as well as banana and coconut trees. are now living without shelter and without the means to feed their families.
people in those fishing villages, once you lose your boat you don have anything, said
Ernie Toews, who recently returned to Kamloops from the ravaged region.
Toews is leading the winter trip in co operation with partner organization Rise Above Foundation.
Three years ago, after three months of research, Developing World Connections chose Rise Above as its host partner for Filipino humanitarian work.
philosophy very much fits with ours around sustainable development, said McRann.
very much believe in gender equality and environmental sustainability, social justice all the same things that Developing World Connections works towards. resident Grant Iverson knows Cebu because he helped build a livelihood and community centre there during an all men trip organized throug michael kors bag h his Kamloops Daybreak Rotary Club (to which McRann also belongs).
Iverson is actually in Cebu right now helping collect, sort, bag and deliver 325 aid packs in Tabogon.
was very hard at times to hold back tears as I watched the young and the old, the weak and the strong struggle to carry their goods away, he wrote in an email interview with The Daily News.
One particular experience was seared into his consciousness. While visiting families whose homes were destroyed, Iverson met a 13 year old motherless girl whose father was often absent for work.
lot of children in this area only have a mother or a father but the difference in this case is that the young girl is blind, he wrote.
grandmother brought her out to meet us and it was one of the most emotional things I have ever experienced. I am struggling to control my feelings again just writing this.
Iverson didn actually intend to participate in service work during this trip, it was meant to be purely a vacation. But when Yolanda hit, Rise Above contacted him to see if he be interested in helping out.
is a definite need, I am available, I have some skill sets to help out and given that my life has pretty good for the most part, I felt the desire to give something back to the global community, he said.
Such trips don have to be entirely about service, however. Iverson plans to return to holiday activities in February and March when he heads to Taiwan.
To michael kors bag ews also knows the area well after joining the Developing World Connections project in Cebu City, which the typhoon bypassed, to build a community centre.
Toews, a Kamloops resident of 36 years and retired concrete contractor, has been participating in humanitarian trips since 2006.
like the idea of a working vacation. I not one to lie on the beach or something. That what drew me, he said.
He taken nine such trips so far, building schools, houses and community centres.
And he quickly discovered that true satisfaction lay in the life altering difference he was making for families around the world.
pretty awesome because the people you helping are so appreciative, he said.
actually working with the people that are there. It very gratifying because people there can believe sometimes that we do that. some holiday time into humanitarian trips is a typical approach among the number of people participating, which soared after the 2004 tsunami in South Asia, said McRann.
it more that second wave of people and we seeing more corporate groups, more high schools, any kind of create your own groups family and church who are wanting to travel, said McRann.