Archive for the 'Philippines Project' Category

Philippines Houses Complete — July 2015

Jon Ross on Jul 6th 2015

 

 

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7-1-15

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The houses in the Philippines are done and I am back in the USA.

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The families are so happy now that they have solid homes that will withstand future storms and last for generations to come.

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Betty’s site – MicroAid construction under way.

 

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betty site final final

Two new homes for Betty and her family.

 

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betty family final

Betty and her family in front of their new MicroAid home

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Pedro's compound construction underway.

Pedro’s compound construction underway.

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pedro site final

Two new homes for Pedro and his family.

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jon and pedro family final med

Pedro’s family in front of their new MicroAid houses..

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As you know, all donations go toward the projects; overhead is paid by me and the board of directors. And once a project is started, I don’t leave the field until it is complete.

That’s what sets MicroAid apart from all the other disaster nonprofits: we help people directly, efficiently, and completely.

Now, we’re working on raising money for the next projects in Nicaragua, Indonesia, and Nepal.

Thank you for the support.
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Jon Ross
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Philippines House Project – May 2015

Jon Ross on Jun 24th 2015

 

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5-15-15

 

Maopai!

I am in Omawas, Philippines, on the east coast of the island of Samar. An area that is in the direct path of Pacific typhoons. Especially Haiyan (2013) and Ruby this past year.

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I want to update you on the good work we are doing building permanent houses for survivors, and remind you that we stay focused on areas after the world’s attention has moved on. (Rest assured that MicroAid will go to Nepal down the road, when the earthquake survivors will still need our help.)

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As with all disasters, here in the Philippines, years later, there are many people who have not received assistance.

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I arrived a few weeks ago and met with two beneficiary families to start the ball rolling and work on budgets and find foremen to rebuild their homes.

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Betty’s house was almost completely destroyed by the typhoon

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1-Betty: Widowed a few years ago. Four daughters, one son, three grandkids. No recourse after the typhoon damaged most of her house and destroyed her daughter’s and her husband’s next door.

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Betty’s compound – construction underway

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Pedro and the kids lived in what remained of grandma’s house.

2-Pedro: His wife abandoned the family (four girls, one boy). He was doing his best to raise and support them, along with his mom, when the typhoon destroyed their house and damaged hers. He rebuilt as best he could, now they all live in one cramped space. But they don’t own the land, and the owner wants it back. So we’re building on land they own!

 

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pedro’s old house destroyed

Pedro's compound construction underway

Pedro’s compound – construction underway

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Actually, each project consists of a repair or completions of one house and a ground-up construction of a new house. So really, two houses for each family.

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ronalyn on motorbike

Ronalyn – interpreter/assistant par excellence

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Early on, Ronalyn (my local guide/ interpreter/gal Friday/lifesaver) and I went to the local town to buy materials. I had forgotten that in these kind of places you don’t just walk into Home Depot with a list and walk out with everything. We basically cleared the town out of 2 x 4 lumber–we bought all 10 pieces. Ha, we needed like 50. So off to the big town, 40 minutes away, to arrange for more. At the various tiny hardware stores, we cobbled together the rest of the material to get everyone working: nails, cement, sand, gravel, corrugated sheet metal, wire, etc. etc.

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23 betty side framing 4 w duyo

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The houses are as strong and comfortable as possible. I’m using the best lumber (nails don’t pull out), marine plywood, the thickest sheet-metal roofing, putting insulation under the roofs, stucco’ing the walls (inside and out), strapping down the roof timbers so they will not blow off in future storms, and a bunch of other quality building strategies. (I want them to last… for the families and MicroAid as well.)

 

jon and betty

Betty has said that she feels like she’s won the lottery, and, in addition to guyarbano fruit she’s given me, gave me a beautiful squash today. So sweet. (Well, her house is going to be–is–gorgeous. That’s got to be worth a pumpkin or two. :0)  )

 

kids and buffalo

Over at Pedro’s the kids are calling me Uncle Jon. I don’t know how that started, but in Sri Lanka the kids called me “Jon Uncle.” Ha.

 

kids helping get material to the site

kids helping get material to the site

Getting close to the end of the major purchases for the projects. Some additional plywood, lumber, and cement, but mostly in. And on budget. There are a few more weeks of work to be done, and the “punch list” at the end–odds and ends–will take a while. But this is going as quickly as I could have hoped for.

 

jon with orlando

 

They say “maopai” here, “hello,” because they speak Warai not Tagalog. This place, Samar, is like its own country. They are fierce and independent. But they have been friendly and helpful to me. They are aware that MicroAid is a small family of supporters who understand people still need help. They are grateful. So am I.

pedicab maydolong

Thank you for supporting this important work. We are really making a huge difference in people’s lives–directly, efficiently, and completely. The MicroAid way!

All the best from the Philippines.

 

Jon

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Super Storms in the Pacific and around the world….

Jon Ross on Mar 15th 2015

 

Do you remember Cyclone Pam?

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Of course you do.  That was the Pacific “hurricane/typhoon” that devastated the islands of Vanuatu yesterday.
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But will you remember a year from now, or a few years down the road?
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That’s why I started MicroAid International: to stay focused on survivors of disasters even though the world’s attention, and resources, have moved on.  And that’s why you support MicroAid—why we will help the people of Vanuatu when all the other aid organizations have gone home.
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Many of the news stories about Cyclone Pam are comparing it to Typhoon Haiyan—the “super-storm” (the strongest recorded on the planet) that slammed into the Philippines two years ago.
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I am actually going to the Philippines in May to help survivors of that disaster.  I will be rebuilding houses and replacing people’s tools to help them return to self-sufficiency, because, believe it or not, there are millions (yes, millions) of people there who still need our help.  (Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 6,000 people and displaced more than four million!)
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I hope you will make a donation to support MicroAid’s work in the Philippines, and also in Vanuatu.
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No other organization stays focused on the long-term recovery the way that we do: directly, efficiently, and completely.
I hope you and your family are safe and secure.
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Please help me provide that for those less fortunate.  (And please forward this to anyone you know who might also be willing to support us.)
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Thank you.
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Sincerely,
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Jon

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