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Help Our Partner in the Philippines Provide Relief and Rebuild After Typhoon Haiyan

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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.

 


marketUPDATE: 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.

Julius2

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_CCT1Michael 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)

Willy2_smThe 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)

Melodia1Before 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)

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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)

Letter_from_CCT_Pres_Re_Yolanda_Relief_Efforts

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.

Read more »  
 

Things We Love: 'I Was in Awe of the Entrepreneurial Spirit of the Estancia Townsfolk'

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This photo taken by guest blogger Valerie Malabonga illustrates the perseverance and tenacity that we see time and time again in the lives of the women and men in our programs.

Valerie volunteered to assist with the relief efforts of our partner organization in the Philippines, the Center for Community Transformation, after Typhoon Haiyan in late 2013. We encourage you to read her guest blog posts.

In this photo, snapped just days after the storm in a town called Estancia, a group of micro-entrepreneurs has found a creative way to both provide a service and make a profit.

"The roof of the market was completely torn off, and there was still much debris all around," wrote Valerie. "However, we could see signs of recovery because there were trucks hauling debris. Vendors had 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 $0.47). I also saw several men piling corrugated iron sheets (roofing material) one on top of the other to sell."

Read more »  
 

Guest Post: My Journey to the Philippines After Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines on Friday, November 8, and decimated entire cities and towns in its path with winds up to 196 mph and tsunami-like waves. Afterwards, my family went ahead with our previously scheduled Philippine vacation from November 15-December 1. I volunteered and was invited by the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), partner of Five Talents in the Philippines, to visit the provinces of Iloilo and Capiz. CCT is a Christian organization that encourages its clients, or community partners, to engage in savings and micro-enterprises to lift themselves out of poverty. Below are selections from the journal I kept while on the road. Permission was granted by CCT and their community partners to share their names, photos and stories here.

ValerieTuesday, November 18, 2013, Iloilo
I arrived at the airport in Iloilo City and met up with Dennis Monong, general manager of CCT's Savings and Credit Cooperative, who had a mountain of boxes. The boxes were filled with solar lamps-cum-cell phone chargers, flashlights and batteries for CCT staff and medicines for CCT's community partners. The lamps and flashlights will help the staff as the government estimates that full power will not be restored until after about four months. [Editor's note: Valerie is pictured standing third from the right.]

In Jaro, Iloilo, site of the CCT regional office, we met up with Anna Mae Labanero, Regional Manager for Western Visayas, and Tammy Wang of endPoverty.org (a Bethesda, MD-based nonprofit). We were on the road by 11:00 am. Our goal was to reach the town of Estancia in the northeast before nightfall and drop the items Dennis brought to the CCT branches along the way.

As we traveled northeast, we noticed the destruction wrought by Haiyan. Anna Mae pointed out a clump of bamboo trees that had twisted around itself due to the force of the winds. She said, thankfully, there were very few casualties in Iloilo and Capiz because, for the most part, people heeded the warnings of the Local Government Units (LGUs) and evacuated as early as Thursday. Electric posts were down but most of the debris was already cleared off the road.

Read more »  
 

An Enterprising 8-Year-Old Sells Loom Band Bracelets to Raise Money for Typhoon Relief Efforts

Julius1When Julius Malabonga arrived in the Philippines in late November, he knew he wasn't in for an ordinary holiday vacation. Parts of the country had just been devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, and his family was there to assist Five Talents' partner, the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), with relief work.

What could an 8-year-old, like Julius, do amid such great need?

Well, 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 to raise support for Haiyan victims.

"Since my son Julius likes to make loom band bracelets and necklaces, I [had] broached the idea of selling his 'jewelry' to our relatives and friends in the Philippines, with the proceeds going to the typhoon victims," said his mother, Valerie Malabonga, a Five Talents guest blogger. "He embraced the idea and enthusiastically wove bracelets and necklaces two days before our trip."

Read more »  
 

Slideshow: The Year in Instagram Photos

We couldn't squeeze photos of all 72,725 women and men who participated in our micro-enterprise development programs during 2013 into this brief slideshow. But we picked about 30 favorites from our Instagram feed, mixed in a clip of Gungor's "I Am Mountain" (a great song!) and whipped up this musical collage as a thank-you to supporters like you.

You'll find photos of women and men whose lives are being transformed thanks to their participation in savings groups, loan groups and business skills training seminars.
Read more »  
 

This Man Reported to Work the Day After Typhoon Haiyan Destroyed His Home

Editor's note: This is Part Four in a series of stories about Typhoon Haiyan's impact on our partner organization in the Philippines, the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), and their clients, or "community partners." Valerie Malabonga, a guest blogger for Five Talents and a long-time supporter of CCT, traveled to the Philippines with her family in November to help with relief efforts. Read Parts OneTwo and Three in the series.

Michael Villarias is a Covenant Community Builder (or Community Relations Officer) at the CCT office in Estancia, Iloilo. During the height of Typhoon Haiyan, he and his family sought shelter at their church's parsonage. The next morning, he went back to his home and found that his entire house had been destroyed. He then went to the CCT office to make sure that the office was secure and not being looted. He also checked up on the community partners (CCT clients) and found that none of them had perished, though all of their homes had been severely damaged.

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. May the Lord bless the CCT staff for their faithfulness.

Michael_CCT1
Michael with wife Sarah Jane and six-month old baby Shekinah Mae, in front of what is left of his grandfather's house, where they were temporarily staying right after Haiyan.

Read more »  
 

This Micro-Entrepreneur Lost Her Home in Typhoon Haiyan, But Not Her Resourcefulness

Editor's note: This is Part Three in a series of stories about Typhoon Haiyan's impact on our partner organization in the Philippines, the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), and their clients, or "community partners." Valerie Malabonga, a guest blogger for Five Talents and a long-time supporter of CCT, traveled to the Philippines with her family in November to help with relief efforts. Read Parts One and Two in the series.

"Willy" Lagunzil is a widow and a CCT Community Partner whose micro-enterprise is a sari-sari (variety) store in Estancia, Iloilo. At the height of Typhoon Haiyan, she and her three adult sons (her fourth son was not with them) sought shelter at a neighbor's concrete house. Her own house was almost completely destroyed, but she and her children converted what was left of their old house into their "new" house and variety store.

Willy1_sm
Willy (middle, in the blue shirt) and her neighbors in front of her damaged house (with steps) and the "new" house and variety store, covered in blue and orange tarp.

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.

Read more »  
 

Family in the Philippines Rebuilds Home Just 12 Days After Typhoon Haiyan

Super Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines on Friday, November 8, and decimated entire cities and towns in its path with winds of 150 mph and tsunami-like waves. My family was scheduled to be in the Philippines from November 15 to December 1 for a vacation, so I volunteered and was invited by the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), Five Talents' partner in the Philippines, to visit the provinces of Iloilo and Capiz. Although they were devastated by Haiyan, these two provinces had not received as much media attention.

I joined the CCT staff, as well as Tammy Wang of EndPoverty.org (also a CCT partner), for two days and travelled around Iloilo and Capiz. CCT provided solar-powered lamps, flashlights and batteries to other CCT staff and food, medicines and hygiene items to CCT clients, or "community partners". Here are three remarkable stories about CCT's community partners and staff that I gathered while on the road.

Permission was granted by CCT and the community partners to take their photos and tell their stories.

A Home Destroyed, and Then Rebuilt

Melodia1Melodia Hangor of Fellowship Group 8 in Capiz is a remarkable lady, and you will soon read why. For her micro-enterprise, she buys frozen foods, which her husband sells in the van terminal while he works as a van dispatcher. She also washes clothes and cleans her neighbors' homes, because she has to frequently check on her two daughters, who both have cerebral palsy. She has two older boys as well.

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.

Read more »  
 

'Crying Won't Do Us Any Good': Typhoon Haiyan's Impact on CCT Clients in the Philippines

Editor's Note: Valerie Malabonga, a guest blogger for Five Talents and a long-time supporter of our partner organization in the Philippines, the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), is currently in the country working as a volunteer to aid CCT's relief efforts. She has graciously offered to write a series of blog posts about the ongoing efforts to support the clients, or "community partners", of CCT.

Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines on Friday, November 8, and decimated entire provinces in its path with winds over 150 mph and tsunami-like waves. My family was scheduled to be in the Philippines from November 15-December 1, so I volunteered and was invited by the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), Five Talents' partner in the Philippines, to visit the provinces of Iloilo and Capiz.

CCT_typhoon1
  A twisted electric post in Estancia, Iloilo. It will take four months to completely restore power.

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.

Read more »  
 

Download and Read Five Talents' 2012-2013 Annual Report

AR1213_cover_smTo all of us here at Five Talents, November is an important month. It is around this time that we get to release our latest annual report and share stories, statistics and testimonies about the transformation that is happening across Asia, Africa and Latin America -- because of you.

Your prayers, advocacy and donations helped Five Talents serve 72,725 women and men in 2012-2013. As Dr. April Young, Chair of Five Talents USA's Board of Directors, puts it in her letter on Page 2 of the annual report, that is "72,725 stories" that each of you have played a role in over the last 12 months.

We are so grateful for the support of our friends and donors, and we trust that you will find our 2012-2013 Annual Report as inspiring as we do.

When you hear a woman like Matilda, in Bolivia, explaining how she challenged her family to save for their children's education; when you hear Consolate, in Burundi, attesting to her husband's transformation as a father and as an image-bearer of God; when you hear Nena, in the Philippines, explaining how she uses some of the profit from her micro-enterprises to help her neighbors, we hope you will also hear the voice of the Master saying to his faithful, trustworthy servant, "Well done."

Read more »  
 
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