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It would take a 30-minute drive along a rough and dusty road to reach Barangay  Manuling, a farming village in the municipality of President Roxas, province of Capiz.  Along the way, one passes by tool-carrying sugar workers who would not hesitate to give directions and still manage to smile despite several hours of toil at the field.

Far flung barangays like Manuling suffered from the heavy destruction wrought by typhoon Yolanda last November 2013.  Yet, these communities were able to withstand difficulties, thanks mainly to the joint rehabilitation efforts of the national government and non-government organizations (NGOs).

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) constructed timber houses in the village in response to the need to provide safe and resilient temporary shelters for resident victims in the area. In partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the NGO was able to build 40 houses in Manuling for families whose dwellings were totally destroyed.  Village chief Hanna Burgos said that IOM’s initiatives helped in the recovery of this community of farm workers and laborers who depend solely on growing vegetables and working at sugarcane plantations for their daily subsistence.

It would take a 30-minute drive along a rough and dusty road to reach Barangay  Manuling, a farming village in the municipality of President Roxas, province of Capiz.  Along the way, one passes by tool-carrying sugar workers who would not hesitate to give directions and still manage to smile despite several hours of toil at the field.

Far flung barangays like Manuling suffered from the heavy destruction wrought by typhoon Yolanda last November 2013.  Yet, these communities were able to withstand difficulties, thanks mainly to the joint rehabilitation efforts of the national government and non-government organizations (NGOs).

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) constructed timber houses in the village in response to the need to provide safe and resilient temporary shelters for resident victims in the area. In partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the NGO was able to build 40 houses in Manuling for families whose dwellings were totally destroyed.  Village chief Hanna Burgos said that IOM’s initiatives helped in the recovery of this community of farm workers and laborers who depend solely on growing vegetables and working at sugarcane plantations for their daily subsistence.

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IOM Shelter

 

For Almarie Alvaro, 42, her new house gave more than just breathing space in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda.  “Nothing was left of our house,” she said, “My husband and I could not have rebuilt it on our own.”  She and her husband Roderick, 37, have three children under their care. After Yolanda, they made do with a small makeshift hut to shield them from the heat and the rain.

Added to this burden, their eldest daughter Mariel Mae, 12, lost sight in her left eye due to glaucoma and required two shots of insulin a day.

The expensive medications for Mariel Mae, as well as, the long journey to get them was too much of a financial burden and so the prospect of getting back to a decent house was far off.  Fortunately, the IOM tagged the Alvaro household as a beneficiary and constructed a stronger wooden shelter at the very place where their old house stood. The family has been living there since March 2014.

As Mariel Mae continues to receive her regular medicines, Almarie is thankful that at the very least they feel secure living in a house that guarantees their safety, health and well-being.  “We also want to build a permanent house,” she said, “But right now, it is important that my children can sleep soundly at night.”

The IOM, in close coordination with local stakeholders, has constructed a total of 3,500 temporary shelters for Yolanda victims across the Visayas, giving shreds of hope to barangays like Manuling whose location poses no hindrance to getting the help they deserve. (RCArguelles, Yolanda-PMO 6)###