ORMOC - A crew of nearly 1,300 Haiyan survivors are clearing community water systems, cleaning schools and planting trees and community gardens in a mass recovery project aimed at restoring life on Leyte.
The World Vision led project is providing some of the worst hit families in Ormoc and Tacloban with the opportunity to earn a daily income in return for their labour.
"We select families whose homes were partially or totally damaged during Haiyan. Many have lost their means of earning an income and have relied on help from organisations and family members to get by," says Thokozani Hove, a World Vision food assistance specialist in Leyte.
At one of World Vision's work sites in Villaba a team of 12 cleared debris from an elementary school, along with repairing and repainting school desks and chairs yesterday.
Alfredo Apariso, a 31-year-old fisherman and a father of two, saw both his home and boat destroyed during the typhoon. Unable to return to the sea, he resorted to driving a tricycle for 150 pesos per day after Haiyan.
"I was very happy when I was selected. Even though it's a little bit of money, it's a big help for us," Apariso says. "I'll use the money to buy food and milk for my children."
World Vision pays workers 260 pesos for 4 hours of labour per day – in line with the minimum daily wage on Leyte.
Genlyn Ochea, a 37-year-old mother of one, saw her roof smash by a falling coconut tree during the typhoon. She remembers cold and wet nights after the storm, sleeping in the open air, and has since stretched a tarpaulin across the hole – to provide temporary shelter from the weather. She too is benefiting from the project and as she painted school chairs a shade of green yesterday, she dreamed of how she’d use the money she would earn.
"With the money I get from working, I'm going to buy new steel sheets and nails for my roof," Ochea says.
In total, World Vision's cash for work project aims to restore community infrastructure in 12 municipalities and provide short term work for 12,000 people. The project works in close cooperation with local government units and community representatives to identify work sites and beneficiaries.
"We are not just rebuilding communities and infrastructure, we're restoring the dignity of families who lost so much during the typhoon," says Minnie Portales, World Vision’s public engagement director in the Philippines.
World Visions cash for work project for Haiyan survivors is expected to continue until November.