As part of our emergency response to Typhoon Haiyan cbm is rebuilding a dormitory and seven classrooms for deaf students that were damaged by the storm. People with disabilities are actively involved to rebuild "better".
As part of its response to Typhoon Haiyan cbm is working with partner International Deaf Education Association (IDEA) in Ormoc to rebuild a dormitory and seven classrooms for deaf students that were damaged by the storm.
“Working together to rebuild Leyte” is the slogan written on the tarpaulin found at IDEA’s dormitory. Here you will find men dressed in green shirts digging, putting up hollow blocks, and carrying various construction materials.
One of them is Henry...
Henry is married and a father of four children. Two of his four children are deaf, and one of them is a student of IDEA’s funded elementary school. He supported his family by doing odd carpentry jobs and by being a coconut farmer.
Before Haiyan hit, his meagre income was barely enough to feed his family. After Haiyan devastated Ormoc and its surrounding towns, Henry not only lost the roof of his home but also his income through coconut farming. It was difficult to find stable carpentry jobs away from home.
...and another one is Rolando
He is around 5 feet tall and 57 years old. Rolando is deaf. He has had no education and is unable to write more than his name. Being the third of ten siblings, he had to learn how to live on his own. He couldn’t rely on his siblings to support him because they married and had families of their own. He earned some money working in vegetable gardens. However, at the tragic death of his benefactor, his means of survival was crushed. One of the teachers for hearing impaired people, Joan Rollo, referred him to work on the construction site of IDEA because of her belief in the saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Henry and Ronaldo – two men, one fortune
Both men of different backgrounds and needing a source of livelihood for themselves and their families found employment under IDEA’s building project. Henry shares that he is so thankful to be able to work on the buildings because the steady income for the next few months is a great help in sustaining his growing family’s needs. To save money, he lives in a bunk house at the dormitory. He doesn’t mind doing this and it allows him to somehow get a better glimpse in his son’s life in school and in the dorm. Then there’s Rolando. He can’t express his feelings in words or in sign, but we believe he is delighted to be able to earn a living with the work of his hands. And I’m sure it is a relief to be in a community who accepts, welcomes, and works with deaf and hearing alike.