Quick Update

Ok so it’s been over a 2 and a half weeks since our last post. Quite a lot has happened in that time and we’ve been meaning to update this blog but due to lack of Internet and spare time this hasn’t happened. The local infrastructure is still pretty spotty here since Yolanda hit but crews are working to fix the power and Internet connections, so hopefully we can keep posts a little more regular in the future…

So when we arrived in Tacloban on Thursday we had no idea what exactly to expect, seeing as it has been over three months since Yolanda hit. As we it closer to the ground it became clear that there was still a massive amount of work to be done. The airport itself proved to be a pretty accurate representation of the state of the area in general, functional yet ruined. The airport consisted of mostly roof with almost all of its externals walls extensively damaged or missing. The interior was very bare and there was nothing even closely resembling immigration, security or customs facilities. The baggage carrousel, despite being so badly damaged it was of no use whatsoever, was still used as the baggage handlers insisted on piling our bags up on top of the badly damaged structure instead of more conveniently placing them on the ground next to it.

That afternoon we met up with the organisation we will be working with for the next 6 weeks, International Disaster Volunteers (IDV). They currently have 7 other volunteers on site with plans to reach between 30-50 in the next few weeks. The seven onsite so far are:
Andy (CEO),
Daggy (Manager)
Dave (Manager),
Max (Manager),
Frieda (Manager),
Kiri and
We’ve started to settle into our life in the IDV house which at the moment has no power or water and suffered some pretty extensive damage to the roof and several walls during the storm. Despite all this the house is one of the better ones in the area.

Now that were here on site we have gained a better understanding of the type of work we’ll be doing as well as the philosophy of IDV as an organisation. So far the plan for IDV is to work on various different projects simultaneously while partnering with other organisations to maximise efficiency. The projects consist of;
Community garden,
Community centre,
Soup kitchen feeding program,
Reconstruction of kitchen facilities at a local school,
Women’s livelihood program,
Construction of permanent housing and
Decommissioning of badly damaged buildings.

As we begin these projects we will be able to better understand the costs involved and in doing so we hope to provide our donors with more information about where there money is going.


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