Whilst working in the Philippines for 6 weeks, Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck. I was on my vacation week, visiting family in the North of Luzon over 1000km from where devastation was really happening. Watching this unfold broke my heart and I didn't know how to help. However, a week later I went back to work for my client at VSO International and working out of the VSO Bahaginan office, I asked how I could help and what skills I could offer. It was quickly uncovered that I also make films rather than just manage technical projects. Documentation of what was going on was needed, and so I went out there to do that exactly, to try and contribute in whatever was I could ensuring that my help would outweigh me being there.
So we went to the Bantayan Island and islet in Northern Cebu, a really affected area, where VSO Bahaginan operate some of their programme of works with partner organisations.
It was a really eye opening trip but also reminded me exactly why I've been technically consulting in this sector for the past few years. Being in the back you forget why you're doing it, and that was so important that it will better improve the real understanding of my role.
I wrote a full account on my website hentucky.co.uk/archives/2230 which you can read that will give more insight into the whole trip but more importantly why you should donate to this project.
If you would want to donate and are from the UK/EU, please go to gofundme.com/GiveABanca
Thank you to VSO Bahaginan for letting me get involved to be a part of this project in a small a way as possible. And thanks to the partner organisations who helped during this operation.
Here's the full brief below.
Thousands of families in the coastal municipalities of San Remigio, Bantayan, Madridejos, and Santa Fe in Cebu rely on fishing for survival.
But after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) wiped out entire communities, their hope for survival was destroyed together with their fishing boats.
Your donation of Php15,000 (USD350) will provide a new fishing banca (boat) to a family restoring not only their means of livelihood but a new hope to rebuild their lives. We hope to provide 350 banca's for 350 families in target municipalities.