This Micro-Entrepreneur Lost Her Home in Typhoon Haiyan, But Not Her Resourcefulness
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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 Transofrmation (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.
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.
Surprise a Friend with an E-Card from Five Talents This Holiday Season
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The Five Talents E-Gift Catalog
gives generous folks like yourself an opportunity to send a meaningful gift that will both transform a life and appeal to friends or loved ones who are interested in empowering and equipping women and men in some of the world's most under-served communities.When you give a Five Talents e-card, you can choose the community or program that your e-gift will benefit. For example, if you know that your friend has a heart for empowering women in South Sudan, you can select one of several e-cards that support our micro-savings, lending and business skills training program in South Sudan. These e-cards make great gift ideas for friends and colleagues.
Click here to browse our e-card options.
Every 'Share' of Our New Video Generates a $5 Donation for Five Talents
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What if you and four friends could help one woman gain access to a savings group, loan capital and business skills training -- without paying a dime?
Giving Library recently began featuring an in-depth video about the work of Five Talents. For a limited time, Giving Library will make a $5 donation to Five Talents for every share our video receives through their website.
Note: you do need to register with Giving Library before sharing, but it only takes a minute.
We'd love it if you asked four other friends to join you in registering -- Giving Library calls this signing up for a "library card" -- and sharing our video on Facebook or Twitter.
Here's a step-by-step explanation of the process. Feel free to cut and paste these bullet points into an e-mail and send them to your friends:
- Go to this webpage and create an account -- it only takes a minute.
- After you've registered, search for the organization "Five Talents USA" and click on their page.
- Don't forget to watch the brand new video -- you'll love what Five Talents is doing with the help of supporters and advocates around the world!
- Click the "Share" button and select either Facebook or Twitter.
- Use the suggested language for the post or write your own, then publish the post.
- You're done! Giving Library will donate $5 to Five Talents, thanks to your "share"!
It's #GivingTuesday! Invite Your Facebook Friends to Join You in Giving to Five Talents
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Five Talents is participating in today's #GivingTuesday event, a first-of-its-kind national effort that will harness the collective power of a unique blend of partners -- charities, families, businesses and individuals -- to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season.
You may have taken part in Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday is where we kick off our holiday fundraising season.
We'd love for you to give today, of course, but just as important as making a donation is inviting your friends to give to Five Talents.
We've made it easy to do this. Simply post the above image (you can download it here) on Facebook and paste in one of the following messages:
- The road out of poverty is a long one. Five Talents helps women and men build sustainable micro-enterprises through savings groups, lending and training in core business skills. Join with me on this #GivingTuesday -- let's transform lives together: https://21862.thankyou4caring.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=298
- You shopped on Black Friday. You shopped again on Cyber Monday. Now transform a life and give to my favorite charity Five Talents on #GivingTuesday. Just $25 can make a difference: https://21862.thankyou4caring.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=298
- Join me today on #GivingTuesday in donating to Five Talents, a nonprofit organization that helps women and men in under-served communities build sustainable micro-enterprises through savings and loan group formation, lending and business skills training: https://21862.thankyou4caring.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=298
Family in the Philippines Rebuilds Home Just 12 Days After Typhoon Haiyan
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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
Melodia 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.
Happy Thanksgiving from Five Talents!
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Thanks to you, Five Talents served 72,725 women and men in 2012-2013.
The range of services that these folks gain access to differs depending on the country or community. In Sudan and South Sudan, for example, more than 23,000 program participants joined savings groups, received training in basic business skills and had opportunities to take out small loans to improve their micro-businesses.
All of this is possible because people like you donate, pray and advocate for the work of Five Talents.
Thank you. Without your support, we would not be able to empower and equip people living in under-served communities that are miles from the nearest bank.
The long road out of poverty becomes a little shorter every time another woman learns to read and balance an equation. The journey becomes more bearable when parents see their micro-business turning a profit and becoming sustainable. And there's joy when children are able to return to school -- or attend for the very first time -- because of a successful micro-enterprise that can help cover the cost of books and uniforms.
We wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and a blessed time with your family and friends.
'Crying Won't Do Us Any Good': Typhoon Haiyan's Impact on CCT Clients in the Philippines
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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.
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.
Download and Read Five Talents' 2012-2013 Annual Report
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To 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."
Weekly Window: Photographer Ross Oscar Knight Raises Funds for Five Talents
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On Saturday, November 9, photographer Ross Oscar Knight took to the National Mall in Washington D.C. to lead a "photo walk" and raise money for Five Talents. We are extremely grateful for Ross and the other photographers who turned out for the event. They raised almost $400 for our micro-savings, microcredit and business skills training programs!
To view some incredibly beautiful photos from the event, check out Ross's blog or search for the hashtag #ROKDCPHOTO on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Five Talents Partner Issues Call for Help After Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines
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We are still days from learning the full extent of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, but the latest estimates are sobering.
The government of the Philippines estimates that at least 4 million people have been affected by the typhoon. There are reports that in one area alone, Tacloban, 10,000 people have died. The number of fatalities is likely to rise as communications channels are restored and access improves to impacted areas. At this stage, more than 660,000 are estimated to be living without shelter.
This storm was considered one of the strongest tropical storms ever to hit land and caused catastrophic damage.
At times like these, we all want to do something that can make a difference. The good news is, we can.