In June 2014, seven months after the super typhoon Haiyan stuck the Philippines, I found myself visiting Tacloban in the Eastern Visayas, the area most badly affected by the typhoon. Despite many years experience of working in projects and development, I was struck by the sheer destruction that was still evident everywhere. Devastation not only of buildings, but also of people’s lives, many mourned for their dead or loved ones still missing.
Amid the pain and loss there was a sense of hope. Aid agencies from around the world were at work and clearing-up operations and rebuilding projects were the order of the day. Friends and neighbours rallied round to help one another.
I can hardly believe that three years have passed since 8 November 2013, so much rebuilding has taken place. Sailors' Society working in collaboration with partner organisations has played a part in this by building homes, classrooms, health centres and supporting seafarers and their families through our projects staff, family outreach officer and chaplains based in Philippines. And yet because of the scale of the devastation so much still needs to be done.
Sandra Welch is Sailors’ Society’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Director of Programme.
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