The Lord is so good and I give Him all the praises and glory for what He has done.
Odette typhoon turned the island upside down destroying the roofs and walls of most of the houses and huts. The island that used to be a tourist destination and source of livelihood for the people, remained needy and still waiting for aids.
When Founder Autumn Nims asked me if we can extend help to the victims of Odette, immediately I gave her a resounding Yes! Knowing the situation of the area, I collaborated with Mr. Olicia on how we can organize the women and help them with their livelihood.
May 24 – Myself, my daughter Johanna, Dr. Vilma Kotagiri and Mr. Melvin Olicia of Gintong Aral Community Development Inc. visited the area. It has been 5 months since they were swept by the typhoon, yet you can still feel the devastation it made in the area.
Despite the cold, the townsfolk are still warm. Their spirits and smiles light their dark shelters – or lack thereof. It is all they can do as they wait for more aid to reach the island.
We were surprised to be welcome by more than a hundred women and 5 men. As I see them, the 1st thing that came into my mind was, shall we feed them? What shall we give them? We only have ourselves. Even they know that there was no relief or anything, they stayed and listened to us. They are excited with what we will share with them.
International Women’s Ministry thank you for taking a great part in the rehabilitation of the 15 houses in the area. Right now, 7 houses have been restored. Dr. Maribel sees to it each house is finished before a new one is started.
Ms. Cita Reyes is a benefactor of the Shelter Kit. She was very happy to be chosen as one of the recipients. According to her, because of Odette Typhoon, she was able to maximize the size of her lot and her house size became bigger.
What is next?
Knowing that the housing is surely of huge help, the problem does not end there. What is next? This is where Community Development comes in thru the help of Gintong Aral Community Development headed by Mr. Melvin Olicia. From our meeting with the ladies, needs were identified, and possible solutions were named.
This is the story from Olango Island. Meet of the mothers from the Island. Together with her and the other mothers,they make shell necklace for livelihood. From raw materials to finished products, a capitalist buys their product for $1.00/dozen. In a week they can make 20 dozen for $20.00 The sad part is that the Capitalist sells 1 necklace for a dollar. The Capitalist makes $240.0) and the Maker makes $20. MAKING THE NECKLACE TEDIOUS. This is Ironic and sad.
We asked them what do you have? Nothing they replied. What do you have? Nothing. (Nothing Mentality)
As we start assessing, we asked them, what do you have in the community? Replied: we have the sea, fishes, shells, starfish, people, boat, and we know how to make necklace from the shells.
People often forget what we have. As an organization who cares not only on the spiritual condition of the people, but it is also our role to empower, capacitate and organize the people to become more sustainable.
We raised the question; how do you see yourself 10 years from now? Most of them said, I want my children to have better future! Their high hope for better future is such an encouragement.
As part of the plan, aside from providing them the shelter, we will be collaborating with the community, (by the way we already have created our Group chat) monitor their progress and help them move forward to better future.
Next activities for the group is a Medical Mission in July 26 in partnership with Philippine Gospel Association and Nazarene Church and livelihood training.
May I request you to include Candagsao Seaside Association ( name of the group) as we walk side by side with them. It is our prayer that from their group we will find families whose lives are changed, not only economically most of all spiritually.
Pray that we can raise $ 1000.00 to start their livelihood and training program.
IWM thank you for opening the door for us so we can start the development of Candagsao Community. Thank you for making us your feet and hands in the field.
Dr. Joy Tica