Words and Pictures by Chad Loftis

For the past year, SIM Philippines - with the contributions of generous people all over the world - has worked to help Filipinos affected by 2013's "super typhoon" Yolanda get back on their feet and carry on with their lives. The photo essay above illustrates just some of the gradual but ultimately dramatic changes that we observed in three of the worst hit communities over the course of that year. The towns destroyed by the typhoon will never be the same. But they have embraced the marks it has left on them. Roll over each image to read more about it or read on below for more about SIM's relief work in Marabut, Veloso, Tacloban and other communities. 

Working side by side with partner organisations, the team of about fifteen people from SIM distributed relief goods (food, tarpaulins, candles, water filters, generator) to well over 1000 families in communities around Marabut. The team returned to those same communities several times throughout the year to provide medical first aid and psychosocial debriefing - including a special children’s debriefing, and debrief oriented family fun days. Twelve local community members were also trained to informally debrief their neighbours. School supplies for 300 kids and their teachers were delivered along with supplies to rebuild or repair more than 50 homes. A special livelihood fund was established to get twelve families back to work, 100 families were supplied farming tools and a further 64 fishermen were given new nets. A few were even supplied with boats. Since child trafficking is often heaviest in the vulnerable months following a major disaster, the team also facilitated the construction of two community daycare centres to give preschool children a safe place to spend the day while their parents work or are occupied in rebuilding. Finally, SIM contributed materials and funding for the rebuilding of the Marabut Community Church. 

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(All photos in the slideshow above are available for high quality download on Flickr.com. Click an image to view it on Flickr)

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