Typhoon Haiyan: Relief Goods a Lifeline for Families


World Vision distributed hope along with relief goods after Typhoon Haiyan.

Daniel, 6, a World Vision sponsored child, with a bag of World Vision relief goods.

Jennifer Ojales, 30, turned in her ticket to verify her status as a community member in Old Kawayan, a coastal community part of Tacloban, on Leyte Island in the Philippines. 

She was presented with food, water, and a hygiene kit, cookware, a mosquito net, blankets, and sleeping mats, as well as tarpaulins and rope. Her husband, Leonel, 29, met her to help carry home the bags and boxes.  

Leonel shouldered a heavy bag of rice and tucked another bag of beans and canned fish under one arm. With the oil and biscuits, salt, and brown sugar, there’s enough nutritious food in his hands to feed a family of five for two weeks or more. 

There’s a box of pots, pans, mugs, and cutlery, and a bag with bath and laundry soap, toothbrushes and other personal hygiene items. Jennifer and Leonel’s son, Daniel, a 6-year-old World Vision sponsored child, gets a bag to carry, too.  

All together, the goods weigh about 165 pounds. Yet the packages quickly disappear down lanes and up hills, carried by hand or loaded on bicycle rickshaws.    

Today’s distribution of relief goods from World Vision is the answer to prayer for 107 families who lost everything when Typhoon Haiyan pounded their area, community leaders say. 

“I’m happy we received tarpaulins,” says Jennifer. “We will use this as a temporary roof because the tin sheets were blown away by the wind.”

Jennifer’s family of five has been using their small cooking space for sleeping, cooking, and everything else, she says. It’s the only part of the house that still has a roof.

Jennifer hopes the goods will tide them over until Leonel can return to work.

“My husband has no work anymore,” she says. “He’s a tricycle (motorcycle and sidecar) driver in Tacloban City, but the tricycle is gone.” Leonel rented the tricycle, which was destroyed during the storm. 

“I’m willing to do any work for my family,” says Leonel. “The situation is tough, but I need to be resourceful and strong for them.”

Within two weeks of the typhoon, World Vision had assisted nearly 50,000 people affected by it.  

Written by Kathryn Reid.

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