33-year-old Rotarian Alfrancis Verdida is from Iligan City’s Lanao del Norte in the Northern Region of Mindanao Island, Philippines. He is a nurse by profession but is currently helping ShelterBox assist families who have lost everything to devastating Typhoon Bopha.
Alfrancis first heard about ShelterBox when Mindanao’s Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro were devastated last year by Typhoon Washi in December. His Rotary Club was involved in the emergency shelter response and he was sent as Illigan City’s representative to help ShelterBox set up tents. ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) member Abner Tayco (PH) trained him.
‘My sister-in-law and her two children were one of the tens of thousands of people affected by Washi,’ said Alfrancis. ‘She totally lost her home when logs and debris in raging overflowing floodwaters hit it. Many people lost their lives but my sister’s family was lucky. They decided to stay over my house that night because of the heavy rain, a decision that saved their lives.’
When deadly Bopha struck, Alfrancis saw on the ShelterBox Philippines website that SRTs were to be deployed to assess the situation on the ground.
‘I contacted SRT member Sonny Ongkiko (PH), rearranged my schedule and told him I was free to help out in any way I can to help deliver ShelterBoxes to affected families.
Read more and view a video of the destruction here: PHILIPPINES