Oct 14 2009

The story of Rachel

By Malou Navio, CFCA Antipolo project coordinator

Rachel and her parents describe how the family was impacted by Typhoon Ketsana. Rachelís older brother died while saving children in a day care facility.

Rachel and her parents describe how the family was impacted by Typhoon Ketsana. Rachelís older brother died while saving children in a day-care facility.

Sponsored girl Rachel is one of the many survivors struggling from the severe impact of Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng (Ketsana and Parma). She and her family are in deep pain and in severe difficulty. After saving little children from the day-care center of their neighborhood, her 19-year-old brother, Roy, was killed by the mudslides with big boulders.

Six people in their neighborhood were killed. Three were rescuers. Their bodies, including Royís, drowned in the horrible flood and could not be found. The flood washed away Rachelís home and many homes in their neighborhood.

ìIím praying to God to help us and strengthen us to surpass this difficulty,” Rachel said.

Rachel is a third-year high school student. She is the youngest among the six children. Three siblings each have their own family. They live in the same neighborhood. A brother is working as an on-call helper in another province.

Her father, Ricardo, used to earn a living as a contractual construction worker or on-call driver. Her mother, Corazon, as well as her married siblings, used to earn money from accepting laundry work. Both sources of livelihood are impossible. Her father lost his carpentry tools, identification and license to flooding. Her mother could not accept laundry because of the cloudy river water.

They cannot be accommodated in the evacuation centers because the centers are already full. They must live with Rachelís sister and her family in a small makeshift abode. They are very congested. They take turns sleeping on a wooden cot. Water is rationed. No comfort rooms. Her mother is becoming thin and sickly.

Their community is called Labahan, a place known for people whose livelihood is doing laundry by hand at the nearby river. Their previous livelihood was scavenging from the garbage dumpsite.

ìWe have a good neighborhood,î Corazon said, while crying. ìWe help each other. However, at present, all of us have nothing. We are equally affected by Typhoon Ondoy.î

Ricardo, though very sad, is hopeful to start over again.

ìWe are praying for Divine assistance and to the people not affected by the typhoon to help us rise,î he said.

ìThanks to the presence of the CFCA staff,î Corazon added. ìThey lighten our heavy feelings.î

ìThanks for being concerned and for helping,î Rachel said.

Related links
Donate to the Disaster Assistance Fund to help families like Rachel’s
My experience with Typhoon Ondoy

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Oct 14 2009

My experience with Typhoon Ondoy

This personal account of Antipolo Project Coordinator Malou Navio’s experience during Typhoon Ondoy (also called Ketsana) just arrived. Malou said the staff has to travel through alleys on balsa boats to reach CFCA families. Many of them are scattered in different evacuation centers. At present, the homes of 1,024 Antipolo families are submerged in floodwaters.

The downpour of heavy rains began at dawn on Sept. 26. Then it became unusual in the morning. I was working at the office that time. I and six other staff left our office to sweep away the rain water continuously pouring in and preventing access to the room of the community workers. Some staff moved the folders and documents hurriedly from the lowest drawers of the filing cabinets onto the top of the cabinets and desks.

The height of the floodwater on the street in front of our office was getting high. I left them while they were still sweeping to rush home because a niece of mine called telling me that our home was flooded. The place to pass through going home flooded to chest level. My niece and sister-in-law said they were trapped on the second floor of our home.

Then, on the street where I stopped, I witnessed peopleóchildren and older personsówet and chilled. People were helping to guide one another to where to pass safely. I saw people scampering to their rooftops. All were looking for elevated places to stand. Some women were crying with their children. I helped a mother with a newborn baby wet from the flood and brought them in the office until the rain and flooding subsided.

We are used to flooding but it was the first time we experienced that kind. Our town and many other towns turned into a water world. Three of our staff with seven ERPAT (fathers group) officers were stranded for two days in Teresa, Rizal, while conducting a seminar in school with parent leaders.

Relief effortsIn the Antipolo project, eight of us live in different places. Our homes were inundated, and our streets are still flooded.

We appreciate the alertness of the leaders and ERPAT fathers for their effort to rescue. One of them is recovering now from severe injury.

I conducted emergency meetings with the staff and parent leaders to discuss strategy for rescue and relief. The staff and I with ERPAT leaders took turns cooking meals to bring to evacuation centers where sponsored members were staying. I went with other staff to the different communities where I was able to see the situation of the sponsored members and their devastated homes, and I listened to their stories.

I strongly believe, as do many of them (one of them is Ricardo, the father of Rachel, a sponsored girl whose story I shared), that this is happening because of the climate change and the global warming. We sustain the sponsorship program with a commitment to care for Godís creation.

Malou

Related links
The story of Rachel

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Oct 2 2009

Photos from the Philippines

Malou Navio, coordinator of the Antipolo project in the Philippines, sent photos of the destruction left behind by Typhoon Ketsana. The three CFCA projects, Manila, Antipolo and Quezon, impacted by the typhoon are distributing food and water, and assessing the extent of the damage. CFCA has reported no deaths or severe injuries among sponsored members. Below you will see some of the photos from Malou. You can read an update on the situation here.

Sponsors and others wishing to help may donate to CFCAís Disaster Assistance Fund. One hundred percent of donations to this fund are sent to CFCA projects to help individuals and families affected by disasters. Funds donated are used where they are most needed.

Typhoon Kestana hit the Manila area Sept. 26.

Typhoon Ketsana hit the Manila area Sept. 26.

More than 16 inches of rain fell in 12 hours.

More than 16 inches of rain fell in 12 hours.

Ketsana was the worst typhoon to hit the Manila area in 40 years.

Ketsana was the worst typhoon to hit the Manila area in 40 years.

CFCA fathers groups prepared and distributed meals to sponsored members and their families.

CFCA fathers groups prepared and distributed meals to sponsored members and their families.

CFCA staff and fathers group members had to use boats to reach some CFCA communities.

CFCA staff and fathers group members had to use boats to reach some CFCA communities.

CFCA staff and fathers group members assisted families with evacuation and rescuing belongings from the flood waters.

CFCA staff and fathers group members assisted families with evacuation and rescuing belongings from the flood waters.

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Sep 28 2009

Philippines flooding update

After weekend flooding in Manila, Philippines, CFCA Manila staff members reported no deaths in the CFCA community. The flooding did damage an undetermined number of homes of CFCA families and left at least 10 families homeless. Read the full CFCA news update.

Sponsors wishing to help may donate to CFCA’s Disaster Assistance Fund. One hundred percent of donations to this fund are sent to CFCA projects to help individuals and families affected by disasters.

We ask that you keep in your thoughts and prayers the sponsored individuals and their families, the CFCA staff members and the Filipino people affected by this flooding.

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