YPDR began our work on Bantayan Island where 80% of homes were destroyed or severely damaged, one of the areas hit hardest by Yolanda.
As 2015 begins, YPDR is responding to the latest shelter crisis caused by Typhoon Ruby (internationally known as Hagupit) hitting Eastern Samar, where we had been already been working since September, destroying 42,466 homes and damaging 248,204 homes. An area already weakened by Yolanda, this province is one of the most impoverished and vulnerable in the country.
In the past year, more than 200 volunteers from 31 countries and 170 local workers, together with our partner Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH), have worked to build 960 homes and retrofitted another 130, proving safe shelter to approximately 5,668 people. We are proud that all 960 homes survived Typhoon Ruby, proving their typhoon resistance. Together with its partners and donors, YPDR has trained 146 carpenters in typhoon resistant construction techniques, performed medical missions for 3,357 patients, rehabilitated 19 classrooms, built a brand new 3-classroom school building, performed training on sanitation and hygiene with 6,000 children, built and deployed 101 artificial reef structures in marine protected areas, and initiated a livelihood program for women, among many other activities.On Bantayan Island, we continue in 2015 to work on an integrated marine rehabilitation program, educating, protecting, and rebuilding marine sanctuaries.
I couldn’t be more proud of our team, especially in our local workers, as well as our executive team that has worked selflessly without salary for over a year. We could not have achieved any of this without the support of our many wonderful partners, donors, families and friends. Disaster response is a team effort and by working together we can achieve our dream of a more resilient Philippines. We couldn’t have done this without you.
As we begin our second year of operations, we are extremely excited about the future. After Typhoon Ruby, we were able to reestablish our Eastern Samar Basecamp and continue our shelter program along with distribution of relief goods within days. We have experienced teams of well-trained carpenters in Eastern Samar and on Bantayan Island, and we are ideally positioned to build hundreds if not thousands of homes in 2015, bringing safe, dignified and typhoon resistant shelter to as many vulnerable families as possible.
We truly appreciate your time and hope that you find this endeavor as meaningful as we do.
President and Co-Founder of Young Pioneer Disaster Response