Ernesto and Juanicia Di Joso had been living with their three teenage grandchildren in Santa Cruz on the Bay Laguna shoreline when Tropical Storm Haikui hit, bringing heavy rains and high winds. Their home was completely flooded. With no personal belongings, they had been staying in an overcrowded evacuation centre when they received a ShelterBox.
ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) member Owen Smith (NZ) was part of the team that delivered their box:
‘Ernesto is hoping to get a municipal grant to help him and his family build a new house on a small piece of land they own further away from the lake. The tent gives them the independence to move to their land and start again.’
‘I think that it is foolish to continue living on the lakeshore since the recent floods,’ said Ernesto. ‘Thank you so very, very much for this gift.’
The interpreter, Del, who has been helping the SRT assess the need and distribute ShelterBoxes to families in need in other towns around Lake Laguna is a Rotarian and already knew Juanicia.
‘It was just a coincidence that Del had been at school with Juanicia in grade two,’ said Owen. ‘They were so delighted to reunite and catch up after 54 years of not seeing each other.’
Ernesto and Juanicia are one of many families staying at the camp in Santa Cruz set up by Response Teams, who had invaluable assistance from local Rotarians, council staff and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
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