Disaster in the Philippines — Typhoon Haiyan
Sisters Vanessa Reposar FCJ and Salvacion Sodusta FCJ went to the island of Bohol in the Philippines from 19th to 29th November to work with the victims of the disaster there. Bohol was hit by a severe earthquake in October and then by typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda is the local name) in early November.
They went under the auspices of Save the Children and worked in three different municipalities. Their work was mainly with children and families who had lost family members and whose homes and environment had been destroyed.
Van and Ciony are both Cebuano speakers so they were able to communicate with the people in their own language. Van is a social worker and Ciony is a nurse. It was very demanding work and the conditions were difficult as there was no electricity and often no water. Both Ciony and Van felt overwhelmed and helpless in face of the extent of the tragic situation of the people. They were so grateful to be able to offer whatever help they could.
The pictures attached will give some small sense of the devastation.
It is not possible to attach any pictures of children but Ciony and Van were very moved by the sadness and fear that the children expressed. Their drawing spoke eloquently of all they had suffered.
Let us continue to pray for the millions of people whose lives have been affected by this terrible disaster. People are generous and aid is pouring into the Philippines from all over the world. It is not always easy for aid to reach remote areas because so many roads and bridges were destroyed by the earthquake, but every effort is being made to offer help to the victims of both these disasters.
The people Ciony and Van met spoke of their great gratitude for all the support they have received. In spite of all, their faith remains strong.