Help In The Field In The Philippines

Joewe is pictured on the far left and she is with one of her sisters and three children, who received a ShelterBox tent, Philippines, January 2014.

Joewe is pictured on the far left and she is with one of her sisters and three children, who received a ShelterBox tent, Philippines, January 2014.

 

‘When the first storm finished, we thought the typhoon was over and we came out of the school, but soon we learned there was a second storm coming.’
Joewe C. Ilustrisimo is a young Filipino woman who spent three days running around Kinatarcan, the small, remote Philippine island she and her friends and family live on, to make sure that all the residents were informed of the approach of Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda). Her family worried as she was still outside during the last hour before the storm struck but Joewe wanted to make sure everybody took shelter in the strongest buildings on the island – the school buildings.
Since the eye of the typhoon hit directly over Kinatarcan, people speak about the ‘first and second storm.’ Most of the school roofs were ripped off during the ‘first storm’.
During the beginning of the ‘second storm’ Joewe ran with her 12 nephews, four sisters with their husbands and their parents to her parents’ house. Through very teary recollections Joewe explained:
 
‘I saw my father cry for the first time’
‘We all sat around in a circle hugging each other. I was just hoping the typhoon would not attack this house and I remembered saying that we all need to be strong and we need Filipino spirit to last through the night. I wept as I saw my father cry for the first time in my life. I kept saying that we cannot let a typhoon ruin our spirit.’
The elementary school that everyone sheltered in as it was the strongest building on the island, Philippines, January 2014.

The elementary school that everyone sheltered in as it was the strongest building on the island, Philippines, January 2014.

 

Typhoon Haiyan completely destroyed 96% of all the homes and government buildings on Kinatarcan. For the first time early warning systems were put into place on the island but there was no electricity and poor cell coverage so disseminating the need for aid proved to be difficult.
However in the aftermath of the storm, Joewe was invaluable in helping ShelterBox and led the coordination effort with local volunteers as well as ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) volunteers to set up tents throughout the island.
‘Joewe was so proud to show us that over 300 families are now in the position to regroup and get on with their lives due to the help provided by ShelterBox,’ said SRT volunteer Peter Pearce, who visited the island earlier this month.
Grateful
Working in disaster zones is physically and mentally demanding, therefore ShelterBox is extremely grateful for Joewe’s assistance and local knowledge. We are also extremely thankful for your ongoing support that enables us to continue to bring much-needed aid to communities hit by disaster, like this one on Kinatarcan. As always, thank you.

 

 

Working Together But Miles Apart – ShelterBox In The Philippines

Map showing the five different areas of concentration for ShelterBox’s operational response so far.

Map showing the five different areas of concentration for ShelterBox’s operational response so far.

 

With Response Team members operating across five different islands, ShelterBox’s operational response to Typhoon Haiyan is proving to be one of the most complex and large scale of recent years. 

Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc across the coastal islands of the Philippines causing up to 95% damage in some towns and cities. This left communities reeling but also caused widespread infrastructure and communications damage heavily hampering the ability of governments, aid agencies and NGOs to respond swiftly.

Multiple teams, multiple locations 

ShelterBox’s in country Operations Coordinator for this response is Alice Jefferson (UK) who has the task of overseeing the delivery of aid to the families in most need:

‘We currently have five separate areas within the Philippines from where we are moving either vitally needed ShelterBox aid, our Response Teams or both.’

Alice and her teammates are operating from outside Cebu City on Cebu Island where they are overseeing operations and acting as a key link in the logistics chain as aid passes through Cebu and onwards to Bantayan Islands to the north and Leyte Island in the east.

ShelterBox Response Teams (SRTs) are also operating on the Island of Bohol where earlier in the year a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck, damaging buildings and infrastructure and claiming lives across the region. ShelterBox responded to the earthquake, sending a Response Team to the affected area. The team were distributing aid on Bohol Island when Typhoon Haiyan struck and have been continuing distribution of ShelterBox tents since. Having completed the current distribution on Bohol Island the team is now travelling to join the team on Cebu.

 

ShelterBox tents warehoused ahead of distirbution by the Response Team

ShelterBox tents warehoused ahead of distirbution by the Response Team

 

On the remote island of Bantayan the SRTs have been distributing much needed aid to families who have lost their homes since Typhoon Haiyan hit. The island has a population of 30,000 people and some 27,000 are now feared to be without homes.

Logistical challenges

Meanwhile another SRT has been operating in Manilla to help oversee the movement of aid through to Cebu island. The logistics of getting aid cleared through airports and harbours is, in itself, a challenge due to the damaged infrastructure and the surge of overseas freight arriving in the Philippines. Experience gained from years of responding to disasters such as the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010 and the tsunami that hit Japan in 2011 has allowed the ShelterBox Operations team to ‘drip-feed’ a constant supply of aid into the Philippines through a variety of different entrance points. This has in turn enabled the Response Teams on the ground in the Philippines to have a continual but manageable flow of aid to distribute amongst the Typhoon affected communities.

A SRT are now beginning assessment and possible distribution of further aid on Leyte Island. ShelterBox aid will continue to arrive in coming weeks and Response Teams on the ground will continue to explore new ways of getting vitally needed shelter and aid to families who have lost everything as a result of Typhoon Haiyan.

Families receive a ShelterBox tent in the Philippines

Families receive a ShelterBox tent in the Philippines

 

If you would like to support our ongoing efforts please donate to the ShelterBox Australia Typhoon Haiyan Emergency Appeal. 

Thank you.

 

 

ShelterBox Rallies In Aid Of The Philippines

ShelterBox warehouse volunteers packing aid for the Philippines

ShelterBox warehouse volunteers packing aid for the Philippines

 

The number of people left homeless by Saturday’s devastating typhoon has increased to 800,000 according to the latest United Nations estimate. 

This morning, warehouse volunteers rallied to the ShelterBox headquarters in Cornwall, UK to pack 200 ShelterBoxes. These boxes will be sent to help families affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The typhoon was the biggest storm ever recorded to reach landfall, destroying buildings, wiping out villages and causing over 10,000 people to lose their lives.

‘Devastation’ 

ShelterBox aims to help up to 4,000 families and has launched a Typhoon Haiyan Emergency Appeal. With 504 tents en route now from Dubai to Manila and a possible onward flight to Cebu, this latest shipment of aid is set to arrive on Wednesday 13 November.

ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members are already on the ground in the Philippines carrying out assessments in Cebu, Bohol and Tacloban. Mark Curnow (UK) arrived in country on Sunday.

‘Everyday that goes past we realise more and more the real significance of this disaster and the areas of devastation become more apparent’.

 

Image courtesy of OCHA

Image courtesy of OCHA

 

 

ShelterBox could not carry out any of its disaster relief work around the globe without the support of its donors and the outpouring of support for the charity in the last few days has been overwhelming. Several major media outlets and celebrity ambassadors have rallied by ShelterBox to help spread awareness of the response.

Acclaimed American author, Maureen Johnson, tweeted: ‘Reading about the Philippines. The typhoon has claimed the lives of 10,000 or more people. Never a better time to donate to ShelterBox.’

Everyone involved with ShelterBox is incredibly grateful and humbled by the support that has been shown so far. Our teams are working around the clock to ensure that we do all we can to help the families who have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

YOU CAN HELP BY DONATING HERE: PLEASE DONATE

Typhoon Haiyan Strikes Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan is pictured in this NASA satellite image taken on 7 November, 16.25 GMT. Image courtesy of Nasa/Earth Observatory.

Typhoon Haiyan is pictured in this NASA satellite image taken on 7 November, 16.25 GMT. Image courtesy of Nasa/Earth Observatory.

 

With winds of 330 kmph, Super Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) which struck the Philippines this morning, is predicted to be the largest storm ever recorded to make landfall, surpassing Hurricane Camille in 1969. 

A tropical storm expert speaking to the BBC said, ‘Super Typhoon Haiyan really is a beast. One of the strongest storms ever recorded with sustained winds of 313 kmph, gusting even higher.’

It is reported that more than 12 million people are at risk from the storm, including the population of the countries second largest city Cebu. Schools and offices have been closed, with local flights suspended. Thousands of people have been evacuated and thousands more have fled their homes as the category 5 storm approached. Powerlines have been overturned as 5m (15ft) waves crashed against the islands of Leyte and Samar in the central Philippines.

 

ShelterBox currently has a team based in the country, responding to a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol on 15 October. Despite deteriorating communications lines ShelterBox spoke with Response Team members this morning.   Mark Dyer from the US, and Paul Crudington from the UK took shelter last night, as did thousands from the coastal areas of Bohol, a popular tourist destination that has barely had time to recover from the earthquake. Mark says, ‘The storm has now passed our area, and our team is doing well. But we are already getting reports of homes being washed away in flooding, and local communications are down.’   Meteorolgists are predicting that the storm will head out across the South China Sea.

 

ShelterBox currently has a team based in the country, responding to a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol on 15 October. Despite deteriorating communications lines ShelterBox spoke with Response Team members this morning.

Mark Dyer from the US, and Paul Crudington from the UK took shelter last night, as did thousands from the coastal areas of Bohol, a popular tourist destination that has barely had time to recover from the earthquake. Mark says, ‘The storm has now passed our area, and our team is doing well. But we are already getting reports of homes being washed away in flooding, and local communications are down.’

Meteorolgists are predicting that the storm will head out across the South China Sea.

You can help by donating here: PLEASE DONATE

Video: Evaluating In The Philippines

ShelterBox evaluation team with some beneficiaries in San Miguel, Compostela Valley, Philippines, August 2013.

ShelterBox evaluation team with some beneficiaries in San Miguel, Compostela Valley, Philippines, August 2013.

Eight months after Super Typhoon Bopha hit the Philippines, ShelterBox staff returned to Mindinao. This time it was to meet with community leaders and beneficiaries themselves to discuss the real impact ShelterBox and its donors had on their lives.

 


As always, a big thank you to all of our supporters who help us make a difference to families displaced by disaster. Without you, our disaster relief work would not be possible. Thank you.

ShelterBox Responds to Typhoon in the Philippines

Typhoon Utor made landfall as a Category 3 storm over the northern Philippines in the early morning hours of August 12, 2013.  Image courtesy of Nasa/Earth Observatory.

Typhoon Utor made landfall as a Category 3 storm over the northern Philippines in the early morning hours of August 12, 2013. Image courtesy of Nasa/Earth Observatory.

 

The Philippines has been hit by another powerful typhoon leaving thousands of people homeless on the main northern island of Luzon. A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) is currently travelling to the Asian country to assess the situation.
Typhoon Utor (locally known as Labuyo) made landfall earlier this week, bringing winds of up to 185 kph (115 mph), damaging agriculture and infrastructure as well as uprooting trees making roads impassable. Communication and electricity services have also been affected.
‘The storm crossed northern Luzon as a Category 3 typhoon and also affected the Bicol and Aurora regions, northern Samar and the eastern coast Luzon, including Polillo Island,’ said ShelterBox Operations Coordinator Dave Ray.
‘This path is historically prone to destructive weather patterns and there is a high level of community preparedness with government focus on building resilience among the communities. So we have deployed an assessment SRT to the region to explore the possibility of assisting and coordinating with existing humanitarian response operations.’
n April 2013, an intense typhoon carved a path of destruction through the Philippines leaving many families in desperate need of emergency shelter.

n April 2013, an intense typhoon carved a path of destruction through the Philippines leaving many families in desperate need of emergency shelter.

 

SRT member Liz Odell (UK) has been on deployment to the Philippines before but says it’s going to be different:
‘Last time I was in the Philippines I was at the tail end of the deployment, distributing the last of the ShelterBoxes and tents which had been moved to Davao on Mindanao island. This time I’m leading the first team in, only three days after Typhoon Utor struck.
‘Flash flooding and landslides’
‘We have made contact with Plan International, another aid agency who is doing assessments in the Aurora region, and plan to join them on Friday after flying into the capital Manila very late on Thursday. We have been warned that travel is very slow and some roads are impassable due to flash flooding and landslides. So for me personally it’s a very different deployment.’
Liz is also being joined by Steve Gibson (US) as well as in-country SRT member Abner Tayco (PH) with his local knowledge and expertise of the area, who has already organised transport, routes, local phones and accommodation.
‘Unaware of mass suffering’
‘Coming from Boulder, Colorado, I’m continually struck by how isolated we can be,’ commented Steve. ‘Here we have been completely unaware of mass suffering, like this typhoon, as it’s not in the media.
‘Being deployed to try and assist the communities who have lost everything not only provides a chance to help bring shelter and dignity to the survivors, but it’s a reminder of just how fortunate those of us who read the news, rather than live it, really are.’
You can donate here: PLEASE DONATE

 

 

Philippines: Typhoon Bopha Four Months On

Homes destroyed by Typhoon Bopha, Mindanao island, Philippines, January 2013.

Homes destroyed by Typhoon Bopha, Mindanao island, Philippines, January 2013.

 

Typhoon Bopha was the strongest tropical cyclone to ever hit the Philippine island of Mindanao. Over 1,000 lives were lost and tens of thousands more lost their homes and possessions.
ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) member John Cordell (US) returned to the broken communities four months after ShelterBox’s initial response to see how affected families were coping with the devastating situation.
ShelterBox brought hope and certainty to well over 1,000 families who had been left with nothing prior to the support from our donors worldwide. Thank you!

 

 

ShelterBox Australia Newsletter – March Round-up

The month of March saw the passing of two important milestones for ShelterBox. First was the one year anniversary of our historic Project Patnership with Rotary International. Rotary is an invaluable supporter of ShelterBox worldwide, providing much needed funding and essential help on the ground (as seen in recent deployments in Jordan and The Philippines and Russia). You can see more about the Project Partnership in the Youtube clip below.
March also saw the second anniversary of the Syrian Civil War. What started as a peaceful protest for democracy, descended into a bloody, protracted conflict, destroying over 2.6 million homes and forcing millions to flee to neighbouring countries. Shelterbox has been working in Iraq/Kurdistan, Jordan and Lebanon and continues to explore avenues to help those most in need. Your continued support allows us to respond quickly to disasters both natural and man-made.
This month’s quote comes from Henry Ford, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Staying together is success.”
Thanks for helping those families most in need.
Mike
Mike Greenslade SRT
Director/Communications Officer
ShelterBox Australia
NB. You are receiving this newsletter because you have either supported us in the past, signed up via the website or at an event. Should you wish not to receive future newsletters you can unsubscribe at the bottom of the page. Another great way of keeping up to date with what’s happeining with ShelterBox Australia is via our blog, at: https://shelterboxaustralia.wordpress.com
Deployments 
 MADAGASCAR – Floods
Cyclone Haruna caused extensive flooding in South West Madagascar in late February. An all-Australian ShelterBox Response Team, consisting of Peter Pearce and Anthony Keating flew to the disaster-prone African isle to assist those affected. Using stock pre-positioned in the capital, Antananarivo the team were able to respond quickly and distribute 130 boxes. Read more here:MADAGASCAR
 SYRIAN REFUGEE CRISIS
As the civil war in Syria passed it’s 2-year mark, the number of refugees registered with the UNHCR passed 1 million, with the real number of refugees likely to be twice that number. ShelterBox has been working in several areas to help those most in need. In Lebanon, SRTs (working through a network of 27 implimenting partners) have distributed 700 winterised boxes. 584 insulated tents have now been erected and are housing homeless Syrian families. A further 35 boxes have been distributed inJordan. ShelterBox continues to explore avenues to help more people. View a recent interview with ShelterBox on Channel 10 Late News here: 10 NEWS
 PHILIPPINES – Cyclone
The devastation caused by Typhoon Bopha was so great that finding space to erect relief tents was a huge problem for a succession of ShelterBox Response Teams. Continued bad weather also hampered relief efforts. Working with local Rotarians and in-country SRTs, ShelterBox has now managed to distribute 354 boxes and 760 tents. Distribution continues through Plan International and HelpAge.
 
 MYANMAR – Conflict
The Kachin conflict is one of multiple conflicts collectively referred to as the Burmese Civil War. Fighting between the Kachin Independence Army and Myanmar Army restarted in June 2011 after a 17-year-old ceasefire broke down, and continued throughout 2012. The recent conflict has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people and displaced an estimated 80,000. With the rainy season set to begin in May the situation for internally displaced persons (IDPs) could deteriorate. Due to the high security situation, ShelterBox is working with ACTED who will distribute ShelterBoxes to IDPs in Kachin State on ShelterBox’s behalf. The SRT has trained ACTED’s workers in setting up the tents.
 
                                              Fundraising
 
 SHELTERBOX EXPO SYDNEY
The Rotary Club of Darling Harbour held their annual ShelterBox Expo in Sydney’s Martin Place on 15th March. A great shopfront for ShelterBox, the event raised enough to sponsor 3 Boxes
 
 BLUESFEST- BYRON BAY
ShelterBox had a stand at Byron Bay Bluesfest for the second year running. The stall had hundreds of visitors over the 5 day festival, learning about disaster relief, donating money and charging their phones! Bluesfest 2013 has now raised enough to sponsor it’s very own ShelterBox
 
 LONGFORD HARVEST FESTIVAL – TASMANIA
Hard-working District Reps, Ian Routley and Bill Dobson were out again at the beginning of March promoting ShelterBox at the Longford Harvest Festival. There was great interest following our recent deployment to Tasmania and in the upcoming ShelterBox Challenge
 
Have you held a successful fundraising event or are you planning one? Please send me the details for inclusion in the newsletter and promotion on the Blog at:
 

ShelterBox Continues to Collaborate in Philippines

ShelterBox Response Team member Bjorn Andersson (SE) with beneficiary Analyn Cabiling as she receives her tent, Philippines, 2013.

ShelterBox Response Team member Bjorn Andersson (SE) with beneficiary Analyn Cabiling as she receives her tent, Philippines, 2013.

 

Almost four months have passed since Typhoon Bopha carved a path of destruction through the Philippines leaving thousands of families in desperate need of emergency shelter. 

An in-country ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) was mobilised immediately to assess the need. They found the worst affected areas to be on Mindanao Island in Compostela Valley and the more isolated coastal Davao Oriental province.

Trained Plan International team in Compostela Valley's New Bataan with SRT members Des O'Connell (UK) and Bill Woodard (US), Philippines, 2013.

Trained Plan International team in Compostela Valley’s New Bataan with SRT members Des O’Connell (UK) and Bill Woodard (US), Philippines, 2013.

 

ShelterBox has trained teams from Plan International in putting up disaster relief tents, enabling them to continue with distributions, bringing shelter, warmth and protection to hundreds of typhoon survivors like Analyn Cabiling, who was seven months pregnant when she lost her home in the storm.

‘Recovery’

‘When we met the Cabiling family, they had been living in an extremely small old hut with large holes in the roof, which did not keep out nightly rain storms,’ said SRT member Des O’Connell (UK). ‘Finding shelter was a huge concern for Analyn, her husband Raymond, and their two children both under seven years of age, as they needed to start buying materials to rebuild their flattened house. Therefore providing them with a tent has helped them make the next steps in their recovery.’

When the eldest son returned from school, he said: ‘Wow! Now we have a beautiful home. We are happy and we are so grateful to ShelterBox, Rotary and Plan International in providing us with support and shelter.’

Plan International continue to distribute vital ShelterBox aid to vulnerable families in hard-to-reach areas.

The huge scale of destruction caused delays in land clearance, as well as further flooding, which slowed shelter distributions. However, since the disaster, SRTs have been distributing much-needed emergency shelter to families in need, in partnership with aid agency Plan International.

‘We have worked with ShelterBox before and we know that ShelterBox do as they promote and responded to help the Philippines without any hesitation,’ said Plan International Coordinator Roy Soledad.

Typhoon Survivor Rosalie Tells her Story in Philippines

SRT member Liz Odell (UK) with ShelterBox beneficiaries in Baganga, Mindanao Island, Philippines, February 2013.

SRT member Liz Odell (UK) with ShelterBox beneficiaries in Baganga, Mindanao Island, Philippines, February 2013.

 

‘I used to live in a small house across the creek over there, together with my husband Abundio, and my six children: Rudyard Voune (13), Vinsun Mark (12), Reynel John (10), Christian (9), Anthony (3) and 11-month-old baby James.

‘We had heard on the TV that there was a typhoon coming but we didn’t worry as we had never had a typhoon here before, so we didn’t make any preparations. The wind and rain started to get very loud at about four in the morning, then at seven we realised that the stream had turned into a raging torrent and was flooding very fast and coming towards our house. We ran away from the house and escaped to some higher ground, where we found shelter on the top floor of a two-storey house.

‘We were trapped in the house for two days until someone came and rescued us in a boat, and we were taken to the local gymnasium which was being used as an evacuation centre. We stayed there for a week but it was so crowded that we decided to leave and go back to the ruins of our house. It proved impossible to live there as well, so we left after another week and spent the next five weeks staying with relatives until we were given a ShelterBox tent at the end of January.

‘My son Christian injured his foot really badly on some broken glass as we were escaping from the flood and he is still unable to attend school. We are all traumatised, especially the children who get frightened when it rains heavily and don’t want to go to school.

Read more here: BOPHA

You can donate here: DONATE