100 days after Supertyphoon Yolanda (Intl. Haiyan)
30 Dec 2013
Dear Donors and Friends,
One hundred days after super typhoon Yolanda hit parts of the Philippines that brought massive destruction to lives and properties in the Visayas particularly in Tacloban city, people in most areas are still groping in the dark. The school of Minerva's parents was among those weren't spared from the brunt of the typhoon, displacing students, teachers, and workers of Mondejar Foundation College.
Donations from numerous countries and benevolent individuals followed, which greatly helped the victims in many ways. Switzerland was among the leading countries which sent initial donations, and specifically donated for the reconstruction of the greatly damaged building of Mondejar Foundation College, hence made the reopening of the school possible in mid-January 2014. In early February 2014, rehabilitation of the kindergarten building has already been started while the technical building awaits reconstruction, hopefully soon.
In March, we can send more donations for the Mondejar Foundation College composed of computers, books, and school infrastructure materials from Switzerland. These will give a greater degree of help in resolving the prevailing dilemma the school has been dealing with. Despite the improvised classrooms on the onset of the school's reopening in January, enthusiasm and excitement were manifested in the faces of the 450 students and teachers for having been able to go back to school, especially for the teachers who could go back to work for a living after the inevitable break caused by the deadly typhoon.
At the moment, problems generally remain prevalent in every turn. Electricity hasn't been restored but the inner city. Most people rendered homeless by the typhoon live in tents donated by generous countries with continued relief assistance, which is a blessing in lieu of the supposedly local and national disaster relief efforts where most proved to be a mere word of mouth sans of action. With all the skyrocketing prices of diesel oil and construction materials in the local market, it would be next to impossible for the victims rendered jobless following the calamity to build their own shelter. Thanks to the international aid agencies on ground that to date support the basic needs of most victims while the "Cash for Work" program of the UNDP was basically created to help the jobless earn for other family needs, coupled by the intention to help the city in terms of cleaning up the loads of mounting debris around.
In our own little way to help our fellow victims of the disastrous typhoon, we did a cinematic contribution on the charity football game last Mach 4 at the Berne Wankdorf. The film shall be seen on the sides of FIFA, the UNDP and hopefully with many football clubs. It also featured football players from Tacloban; the hotspot of the Philippine football before the killer typhoon ravaged the region. The event will not only be remembered as media sensation but the intention to note the plights of victims of the super typhoon; the charity deed was made for.
With the city that has been almost totally flattened, reconstruction would take years to bring the city back to its feet if not the original shape. In the wake of these all, we are deeply touched and proud of the helping hands of friends and even anonymous donors who selflessly shared their blessings in many ways. Words aren't enough to express our gratitude for the support and encouragements gained in the process, especially the gift of initiative education granted to young learners and adults, bespeaking education as the highest good for everyone's future.
We thank you from the heart,
Michael & Minerva Steiner JE Mondejar Foundation College