| Jun 29, 2015
Rozaldo, his wife Vilma and their five children at the temporary house they now call home.
When a devastating typhoon struck the Philippines in 2013, it uprooted the lives of Vilma, her husband Rozaldo and their five children. The family lost its home and its ability to make an income to the super storm.
Life went from mundane to chaotic in a flash. It became very hard. There was no place to live and no place to work.
Following the typhoon, the family and others like them spent two months building small shelters by the seashore. However, because of their proximity to the water, these structures were quickly deemed unsuitable for habitation. If another storm swung through the Philippines' eastern shores, these buildings would be the first to go.
The family was eventually relocated to one of several transitional shelters built on high ground. The shelters are sponsored by Medical Teams International and run by Operation Compassion Philippines.
The temporary structures are built above he floodplain and provide some amenities, including space to plant gardens.
At first, Vilma and Rozaldo found it hard to adjust their day-to-day lives while living at the house. The comforts of home had been permanently lost. There was pain in the constant reminder that they were not at their longtime home, where they had made all their happy memories.
But those feelings soon disappeared, the couple said. After a month, they became accustomed to their new way of life. Among the transitional homes, made of sturdy interwoven bamboo, there are also small markets – known as sari-saris – where people work and buy household items. The family also has a backyard garden, and they are learning how to grow their own vegetables.
Vilma, Rozaldo and their children are also not alone. Their temporary house is located in a cluster of many similar homes, occupied by other victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
The outpouring of financial and prayerful support during the aftermath the emergency set the groundwork for this innovative community to take shape. Vilma and Rozaldo now have the opportunity to rebuild their lives, and the lives of their children. Thank you for being there for them and giving them the opportunity to recapture the independence they felt before the typhoon.
The couple said they can only express their utmost gratitude to the people who never forgot about them and helped them along the path of recovery and rebuilding. "Now, we are assured that we can sleep well and safe, away from the dangers of living close to the sea," they said.