The best Christmas present for the children in Tacloban
Four weeks ago, super typhoon Yolanda (international code name: Haiyan) raced through central Philippines. More than 7,000 people to date are confirmed dead. Most of these deaths came from Tacloban, the hardest hit area and considered as ground zero for Yolanda. Yolanda created storm surges reaching 8 meters high along the coastal areas, causing the most casualties. Cars were piled on top of one another, cargo ships ended up on villages, and some areas wiped out to become a veritable wilderness.
After five weeks, the situation is still precarious in Tacloban. 90 percent of the houses were destroyed or damaged. Thousands of homeless are living in a city that still has to make do without running water, electricity and other basic services. Meanwhile, the U.N. erected tent cities and the local government worked to make the roads passable again. The debris is still piled up several meters high and is removed from the population painstakingly by hand. Farming, fishing and other forms of livelihood are not possible for a long time. Jobs are gone because of the destruction of offices and buildings.
It will take a long time before life is back to normal in Tacloban. More importantly, help us give a future to the children whose families were victims of this calamity.
Please support our "Each One Teach One" campaign. Every child that we can bring back to school with your generosity is one less victim in this tragedy. Your contribution will not only help the children but also the long-suffering parents, many of whom have lost all material possessions and jobs but have hope when they see their children back at school. Each One Teach One aims to provide the children's education by financing the school fees and materials for 2014 through your donations. A year of kindergarten costs 300 francs, the intermediate and high School 600 francs and 900 francs for college students. This figure includes also the teaching materials.
Every student that you sponsor will attend the JE Mondejar Computer College. The college was founded in 1990 by Jose Rene Mondejar as the first of its kind in Tacloban. It currently has 1200 students from kindergarten to college. In addition, there are 300 evening students. The school employs 61 employees, including 45 teachers. The water came to 30 inches below the school grounds and wiped out all farm animals being raised on lower campus grounds. The main building was not flooded. The building structure has two reasonably intact floors. All classrooms incurred much damage. They have broken windows and school equipment destroyed by flying debris, wind and water. The top floor still under construction was unfortunately destroyed. The outbuildings including a pavilion, outdoor stage and the canteen were destroyed or severely damaged.
The damage amounts to more than half a million francs. The rebuilding process started with the roofs of these outbuildings repaired thanks to the first aid from the private citizens of Switzerland. Because of the financial support of our Swiss friends, the school is now on track to resume operations on January 6, 2014 although classes will be held in reduced usable space for now.
The biggest problem of the school is the 1200 pupils and students who have enrolled for the next semester. With livelihoods and jobs wiped out, the parents cannot afford school fees. Even the numerous state-sponsored students have no money for school supplies. The college is a non-profit foundation and an educational center for children of low-income people. When a natural disaster hits a city, the poor are always the hardest hit. Your financial donation will be a direct and immediate impact on families to give them a reprieve in the gargantuan task of surviving and rebuilding their lives and futures.
The trauma of witnessing such devastation will be imprinted in the minds of residents for a long time. We and the families are truly grateful for your support and what you can give. Let us work together to help as many children as we can and give them hope for a brighter tomorrow.