Updated January 13, 2014
The government of the Philippines estimates that at least 4 million people have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Almost 6,000 people have died. More than 660,000 were estimated to be living without shelter after the storm, one of the strongest tropical storms ever to hit land.
At times like these, we all want to do something that can make a difference. The good news is, we can.
First of all, please pray for the people of the Philippines, for the relief agencies and government officials who are working around the clock, for the churches and lay people who are ministering to the homeless and mourning, and especially for the families whose lives have been destroyed by this terrible storm.
You can also give.
While Five Talents is not a relief agency, we partner with local organizations that are based in the communities where we work. Our partner in the Philippines, the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), has asked us to help them raise money for water, food, temporary shelter and – eventually – for the rebuilding of client micro-enterprises.
By making a donation today and designating your gift for our program in the Philippines, you will be directly helping people who are right now wondering where their next meal will come from, where they will lay their head tonight, and how they will ever begin to rebuild their lives.
Our partner, CCT, has indicated that their first priority in the coming days is providing food, water and temporary shelter.
Your gift of $25, $50 or $100 will make a difference – and so will your prayers.
Give today and join us in supporting our friends and neighbors whose lives have been devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.
UPDATE: My Journey to the Philippines After Typhoon Haiyan (1/13)
We went to the port and saw what used to be the Estancia market. The roof of the market was completely torn off and there were still much debris all around. However, we could see signs of recovery because there were trucks hauling debris. Vendors also set up shop in the roofless market. As I looked around, I was in awe of the entrepreneurial spirit of the Estancia townsfolk. There were several makeshift stands that had signs saying "Charging Station." People could fully charge their cell phones or laptops for P20 (or 47 cents). I also saw several men piling corrugated iron sheets (roofing material) one on top of the other to sell.
UPDATE: An Enterprising 8-Year-Old Sells Loom Band Bracelets for Typhoon Victims (1/8)
Consider what the boy with five barley loaves and two fishes did in John 6. He gave them to Jesus, and they were used miraculously to feed five thousand people. Julius and his younger brother JB, 5, didn't have loaves and fishes, but they did have lots of loom band bracelets. They had prepared to sell them to relatives and family friends during their trip to the Philippines to raise support for Haiyan victims. Find out what happened.
UPDATE: This Man Reported to Work the Day After Typhoon Haiyan Destroyed His Home (12/17)
Michael said he cried when he saw what happened to his home and furnishings: In the twinkling of an eye, they were all gone. However, he believes that God was present during the storm and he is just thankful that none of his family members died or were injured. While visiting the community partners, he was able to encourage them. Likewise, their comforting words encouraged him. Michael is just one example of the CCT staff's selflessness and dedication to the community partners. According to Anna Mae Labanero, CCT's Regional Peer Servant (or Regional Manager), 100 percent of the Iloilo and Capiz staff reported for work the Tuesday after the typhoon, even if their own homes had been damaged. Click here to read more.
UPDATE: This Micro-Entrepreneur Lost Her Home in Typhoon Haiyan, But Not Her Resourcefulness (12/10)
The day after Haiyan, Willy went to the Estancia pier and, with the last P200 ($4.65) in her pocket, she bought some bread and sold it to her neighbors. In true Five Talents' spirit, she then bought some goods to sell in her variety store. Her inventory was damaged, as the items were either blown away by the strong wind or ruined because of the rain. A neighbor also shared more bread with her, which she then distributed (for free) to her other neighbors. Click here to read more.
UPDATE: A Family Rebuilds Their Home Just 12 Days After Typhoon Haiyan (12/2)
Before the super-typhoon struck, Melodia's family evacuated to a neighbor's concrete home, so their lives were spared by Haiyan. When we visited her to bring her some relief goods, just 12 days after the typhoon, her family had already put the debris on one side of their yard, and built a much smaller home using materials salvaged from their old home. There was an urgency because she needed a space for her two daughters. I noticed how clean the space was and how neatly-stacked the clothes and their other things were. When she introduced us to her two daughters, Melodia (L) stroked them tenderly. Twelve-year-old Tata showed how happy she was with all the attention from the visitors by laughing and gurgling, while 4-year-old Dayday (R) was more shy. Click here to read more of guest blogger Valerie Malabonga's report.
UPDATE: Photos of CCT's Relief and Recovery Effort in the Provinces of Iloilo and Capiz (11/22)
According to CCT staff member Dennis Monong, there are no casualties among their 3,762 community partners in Iloilo and Capiz, but 100 percent of the latter's homes and micro-businesses were affected, and in most instances totally wiped out. CCT staff members' homes and even CCT's office in Capiz were likewise damaged by Haiyan... Despite all their losses, both the CCT staff and the community partners are in good spirits. As the community partners in Fellowship 8 told me: "Crying won't do us any good." Nonetheless, they need to get their microenterprises up and running soon so they can take care of their families. Remylyn Anisco, Coordinator of Fellowship 33 in Capiz, said, "We are very thankful for the relief goods from CCT, but our fishermen need to get new boats and nets so they can fish for life." Click here for the full update.
UPDATE: A Note from CCT on Relief and Recovery Efforts on Panay Island (11/21)
"On the island of Panay alone, over 3,700 of our community partners homes and businesses were destroyed... Without being asked, CCT staff whose homes were completely flattened showed up at the office the Monday after the storm to go and visit their community partners, checking on them, praying with them, bringing relief goods, assessing their immediate and long-term needs. While the needs are great, the hope and joy still visible on the faces of our community partners and staff serves as an inspiration to continue to do whatever we can to help them re-build and get back on their feet. Thank you for your support." Click here for the full update.
UPDATE: A letter from CCT head Ruth Callanta (11/13)
We have just received this letter from the Center for Community Transformation's Ruth Callanta, who says that, so far, she and her colleagues have identified 5,470 CCT "community partner" households that have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
"We are still trying to establish communications with our co-workers in Tacloban [the hardest-hit area] and the 35 partner churches from the same area," said Ruth, continuing:
"CCT, by God's grace, is mobilizing all the funds and relief goods that we can send to the affected areas. Some of our team members and doctors are now in Capiz assessing the damage and providing medical help. We praise God for the several churches and individuals who have expressed their desire to partner with CCT."
Click here to read Ruth's entire letter.
To make a donation that will be sent directly to CCT, click here. Be sure to designate your gift for the Philippines.