On Monday, Feb. 10, Habitat for Humanity broke ground and laid the first bricks at a reconstruction site in Santa Fe, a municipality of Bantayan Island, in the Philippine province of Cebu.
The groundbreaking marked the start of reconstruction efforts by Habitat for Humanity Philippines in the affected area, with funding from Christian Aid Ministries. The event was attended by beneficiaries, government officials and international non-government organizations.
"One hundred days after Haiyan struck, we are proud to have begun reconstruction projects. The speed with which this has happened is impressive, especially considering the extent of the devastation caused by Haiyan and the lack of easily available construction materials," said Rick Hathaway, Habitat for Humanity Asia-Pacific vice president.
"We have started reconstruction work simultaneously on sites in northern Cebu, Leyte and Tacloban and will continue to ramp up operations," said Charlie Ayco, Habitat for Humanity Philippines CEO. "The vast majority of affected families are still living in makeshift homes, with fragile roofs and walls, so Habitat continues to distribute shelter repair kits to improve conditions while rebuilding takes place."
Habitat for Humanity Philippines aims to distribute more than 30,000 shelter repair kits and build 30,000 core homes, depending on availability of funding.
More than 1.1 million homes were either damaged or destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan, according to Philippine government figures.
Habitat started distributing emergency shelter kits just days after Haiyan struck, shifting to shelter repair kits as needs changed. To date, Habitat has supported more than 12,000 families with emergency shelter and shelter repair kits.
"Reconstruction is likely to take many years and Habitat for Humanity is committed to supporting affected families in the Visayas for the long term," continued Hathaway.
As well as breaking ground on construction sites to help families affected by Typhoon Haiyan, Habitat for Humanity Philippines has started operations to build 8,083 homes in Bohol for families affected by the earthquake that struck last October.
Since 1988, Habitat for Humanity Philippines has played an active role in working with families to build decent homes. Through a network of project offices in rural and urban areas, Habitat for Humanity Philippines has built and repaired tens of thousands of houses.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International's vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, Habitat has helped more than 4 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes since 1976. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and supports a variety of funding models that enable families with limited resources to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer visit habitat.org.