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Contributing to Haiyan recovery

Children carrying furniture from a boat on a beach
Children from Loguigot Elementary School received new chairs produced by the Association of Disabled Persons Iloilo (ADPI) Cooperative

As well as preparing emergency relief supplies immediately following typhoon Haiyan, CBM partner the Association of Disabled Persons Iloilo (ADPI) Cooperative is helping in recovery efforts by producing chairs for schools on Panay Island, Philippines. A teacher and children at one of the schools expresses gratitude below.

Active role in emergency response

A man sanding wood (he is a leg amputee) ©CBM/John Javellana
Ronel, making school chairs at ADPI Cooperative, Iloilo
Following Typhoon Haiyan, CBM partner 'Association of Disabled Persons Iloilo' (ADPI) Cooperative took an active role in assisting in the disaster recovery. As well as being involved in the initial distribution of emergency relief supplies, the disabled persons cooperative is producing and delivering school furniture for schools on Panay Island, replacing those lost and damaged during the storm.

The following text is a personal account from a teacher and thank you messages from the children of Concepcion Central School.

Letter from Stephanie Prevendido-Gallardo (teacher at Concepcion Central School)

We thought the nightmare would never end on that fateful day of November 8, 2013 when the strongest typhoon ever, Yolanda, hit Concepcion. Houses, schools, health centres, marketplaces and more were turned to rubble. Many people lost their means of living while some will never see their loved ones again.

It was sad enough that many of us have to leave our houses and find shelter in evacuation centres, but seeing our second home, Concepcion Central School, devastated sent more tears to our eyes. Classrooms where we once conducted our lessons comfortably, as well as the grounds where we held our daily flag ceremony, were turned into temporary homes for evacuees. Most of our classrooms including our school canteen had no roofs and gutters. Our books, notebooks, folders, visual aids, and more were completely ruined as well. Meanwhile, windows, chairs, and tables were also broken.

But our classes resumed two weeks after the typhoon. During this time, class sections were combined so that pupils could be accommodated in the limited number of classrooms available. This was another challenge to all of us because we had to conduct classes in unfamiliar classrooms and even at the school covered gym. Worse still, the majority of our pupils had no school supplies.

It didn’t take long for our brothers and sisters from here and abroad to hear our cry for help. Soon, relief goods like clothes, food, shoes, and school supplies came. Knowing that there are people who care and are ready to help during this time of crisis inspired our teachers and pupils to go back to school. Indeed, not all is lost.

It was on February 3 that the last evacuees finally left our school and transferred to their new homes. Though this brought joy to us, we couldn’t deny the fact that our pupils were still uncomfortable studying in a place which was not completely conducive to learning. My classroom for one has a broken door and missing window blades. But worse, the chairs for 166 pupils were no longer usable. The plastic seats were cracked and chipped while the steel frames were rusty and rickety. I feared one of them may cut their hand or back while sitting on them.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived in school this morning and there, in front of the District Office, were 40 brand new steel and wooden chairs and teacher’s table waiting for me. My class was chosen as the recipient of the project of the Association of Disabled Person-Iloilo (ADPI) in partnership with CBM. My heart overflowed with happiness and I was extremely thankful for such a wonderful blessing.

My pupils shared my joy too. As a matter of fact, they were the most grateful. After spending most of the school year sitting on dilapidated, “hand-me-down” chairs, they now consider themselves very lucky for being the first to use these gifts from our very kind donors.

Notes from students

classroom of students holding up thank you notes, several students are holding a banner which reads 'Thank you very much CBM. For the new chairs that you give to Loguingot Elementary School. From the teaching staff, parents and pupils. God bless ©ADPI
Students of Loguingot Elementary School express their gratitude
Jo-Jane (13)
“I thought I will graduate without experiencing sitting on a nice chair. I was afraid to sit on our previous chairs because their backs were sharp but now our chairs are better, they’re new and sturdier. This is why I’m very thankful to our donors”.

Philander (12)
“When I first saw our new chairs I said, “Wow” because they’re so beautiful. They’re better than our old ones. Our old chairs were bulky and taller, they were uncomfortable especially to those who are short like me. Now, our chairs are just right and ideal to short and tall pupils. I’m very happy because we have them, thank you donors)”.

Cedrix (13)
“It was difficult to write using our old chairs because they shook due to uneven legs. When I bumped into them they easily fell to the floor and made a loud sound. Our new chairs are better and of superior quality. You will really enjoy writing and reading using them)”.

Our 166 Grade-VI regular class pupils are just the first batch of children who will enjoy these gifts and there are hundreds more waiting. Words will never be enough to express our gratitude to our donors. Indeed, ADPI and CBM are right in saying “Together we can do more”.

Read more

Philippines - typhoon Haiyan

CBM and partners working to ensure that persons with disabilities are not forgotten in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan


Humanitarian Action

CBM working with local partners to ensure that people with disabilities are included at all levels of disaster preparedness and response


Jo-Jane, aged 13


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