In early November, 2013 a deadly typhoon hit the Visayans Islands in central Philippines, wiping out entire communities and sending the Philippines into a state of distress. The areas that were hit the hardest by Typhoon Yolanda were mostly rural areas with the majority of houses made of flimsy walls that had no chance against the storm. The disaster as driven many out of their homes and communities causing death and tragedy in the Visaya region and over-crowding and anarchy in the cities.
The destruction reaches further than just physically. In addition devastatingly high death toll, the country’s capital, Manila, is being flooded with people fleeing the destructed islands, and cities that were destroyed have abandoned homes being raided by armed gangs. Only about 1 month later, it is obvious to see that the U.S. media has stopped covering the natural disaster, and U.S. relief efforts have started to decrease. Emergency relief world wide was incredibly responsive and was able to make a significant impact, but the “emergency” mentally is starting to die down.
One of our founding members is a first-generation Philippine American. This disaster hits close to home for them, although no family or friends were directly affected. These emotional ties fuel a passion and inspiration among the group to really work to make an impact.
This charity effort hopes to be a source of funds down the road when the tragedy is all but forgotten, but problems continue to arise in the Philippines. It took almost a decade for New Orleans to make a significant recovery from the destruction caused by hurricane Katrina, and the poverty levels in the Philippines are infinitely worse compared to the lower 9th ward. The Philippines will need disaster relief help for years to come, and the goal of this organization is to give to that cause.