Update February 2016:
Two years after the launch of the fundraiser for Sambayanan ni San Benito, six families have been awarded their new home. On January 14, 2016, Sr. Celine Saplala, OSB together with partners form Missio Aachen in Germany, officiated a ceremonial turnover of symbolic key, a Bible, and a liturgy of posting asking for divine protection. Four of the six water pumps have been constructed providing families with clean water for household needs and to water their small backyard farm.
The construction of the rest of the housing units and water pumps are underway. We are expecting to hear about the completion and turnover of the twenty-four houses within the year. After nearly three years, we continue rebuilding homes, communities and lives.
San Benito, rebuilding after super typhoon Haiyan
People rebuild their homes after the storm. This is not so true in the province of Leyte in the Philippines which was ravaged by super typhoon Haiyan in 2013. The gravity of devastation has left survivors homeless even after nearly two years. In November 2014, statistics show that 2.5 million people remain without proper homes or are still living in temporary shelter which does not protect them from the onslaught of oncoming storms every year.
Click here to read more about the aftermath of Haiyan.
Sahaya International is supporting a local initiative by St. Scholastica's College Manila in rebuilding homes and lives. A habitable location in the remote community of Palo, Leyte, a coastal community which received the initial impact of the storm, has been secured for a resettlement program. The San Benito Village, named after St. Benedict of Norcia, will be the new home of thirty families providing more than a roof over their heads. The residents will receive small-scale livelihood opportunities to help them stand on their feet. Other essentials are kitchen supplies, home repair kits, community gardens, day care center, multi-purpose hall, a chapel, service road, fence and gate, and a communal water source.
Sahaya International will help raise funds for the installation of the communal water source. One manual deep well water pump will provide clean water to five households. The San Benito Village will need 6 water pumps to service all residents. The cost of each water pump is approximately $2,500. Access to clean water is an essential human need that is becoming a luxury due to consequences of climate change or merely the scarcity of resources. Clean water nourishes, cleanses and prevents spread of diseases. It's an essential need specially to remote communities with limited resources.
The San Benito Village has teamed up with Habitat for Humanity in designing structurally-sound homes. Other international charity organizations have been invited to lead certain sections of the program. With the success of the first resettlement site, it is envisioned that more San Benito Villages would sprout around the province of Leyte rebuilding homes, communities and lives.
For more information on this overall rebuilding program, download the brochure by clicking here.
Please join us in a thirst quenching gift of hope for the survivors of super typhoon Haiyan. Our goal is to install six deep well water sources for the first village and in the promising other resettlement areas. Each pump costs $2,500.
I have pumped the first bucket of water with a $100 donation. I invite you to the line, handing out buckets of hope to people who have survived the worst wrath of nature but still keep rainbows in their eyes.
Sahaya International is a USA-based 501(c)3 organization (tax ID number 68-0434770). All donations are tax-deductible according to standard IRS regulations. A tax receipt will be provided for your donation.
For donations via credit card, click on the Firstgiving button below.
For donations via check, please mail the check, payable to "Sahaya International" with mention "San Benito Village" to:
1504 Portola Street
Davis, CA 95616.
Donation of old items, such as vehicles, boats, and electronics, is also accepted. Click here to learn more about this option.
Thank you very much for your generosity.
St. Scholastica's College, Manila
Alumna '91 and '95
P.S. To watch a short documentary on Sahaya, narrated by Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons, click here.