When our Emergency Response team was assessing Concepcion, a small community in Iloilo province extremely affected by the typhoon on the Philippines they met Cerilo. He is blind and was hiding under a table until the storm was over.
Cerilo is 17 years old and has never been to school. People with disabilities like Cerilo often do not have access to education due to their lack of mobility.
During the typhoon he relied on his family to seek shelter. His mother Wilma carried Cerilo to his grandfather’s farm, then took his sisters and brothers to the evacuation centre and returned to get him as well. “It was very difficult because he is heavy”, Wilma said, “I kept falling over”.
In Cerilo’s words the Typhoon’s impact was incredibly frightening “I hid under the table with my grandfather for most of the typhoon. It went on for four hours and I just kept praying that it would be over”, he remembered. “I was very scared. I was shivering cold and could not stop crying.”
The family is very poor and their house has been completely destroyed like many others on the shoreline. An estimated 80 percent of Concepcion’s houses have been destroyed. For now the family is sleeping in a shack which is normally a barn for animals.
Wilma is also struggling to feed her four children as her husband left several years ago. Wilma and her father are both rice farmers. But the typhoon destroyed much of the crops and if they are not able to meet the December and January planting season there won’t be any rice harvest until October 2014. This would put the families‘ food security, nutrition and income in jeopardy.
People like Cerilo and his family urgently need your help! Please support cbm to ensure that families with the double disadvantage of poverty and disability are not left behind.