Hello Dear Friends,
You may not have heard the news, but a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the small island of Bohol in the Philippines on Tuesday morning, 15th October.
Weeks after, they were hit by typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan which has also had devastating effects across the country.
Bohol holds a special place in our hearts as most of our extended family live there and have been directly affected by this disaster. Five of our family members have lost their homes so far, and two more families have homes with structural damage, which means they cannot return to their homes. They all continue to camp outside in fear that aftershocks will cause more buildings to collapse. My cousin Luis continues to support the local community of Tubigon by giving people some of his water supply, but has to ration as every drop is precious. Many roads are impassable, and the more remote villages have been completely cut off from any help.
Over 22,000 people are now displaced and have no place to call home. Bohol is a beautiful island in the Visayas region of the Philippines. It is the home to the iconic chocolate hills, beautiful beaches and some of the most historic churches in the Philippines (one of them even being built in the 1500's), most of which have now been destroyed. "Boholanos" are a tight knit community of people, they are some of the friendliest, most giving, happiest people you will ever get to meet! They need our help in this time of need, let's show them that their prayers can be answered and that we too can come together to make a difference.
Employment in Bohol is generally agriculture led and the island is mostly rural. Based on a survey, Bohol's average annual family income, is pegged at P56,940.00 per year (approx. $1,378 AUD) and was among the lowest in the region. We estimate that to build a simple home it will cost approx. $10,000 AUD (PHP 413,178.00). They have no form of insurance and supplies are running low for food and water. Most families will never get the support to be able to rebuild their lives again.
Here are the statitics:
The earthquake was centered about 32 miles underground near the small town of Carmen, viewpoint for the famous Chocolate Hills. “A magnitude 7 earthquake has an energy equivalent to around 32 Hiroshima atomic bombs,” Siesmologist Mr. Solidum said. “This one had a magnitude of 7.2.”
One of my dear, old friends reminded me that instead of buying a $4.20 latte tomorrow, how about putting that small amount towards something that will make a difference to some people who could use our love and support? $4.20 could feed a family for an entire week. It's that simple. Spread the love.
In November 2013, we flew from Australia to make a personal visit to affected communities around the Tubigon Township in Bohol to start distributing goods and aide to those who need help. They will continue to need our help as the damage is quite extensive.
We bought supplies (generators, tools, water, food) and tents for families that have been left homeless, we started our ongoing construction project and educated the people with good building knowledge, and managed to give donations to local schools, community halls and churches to help them rebuild. Power looks to be out for the next 6 months, but the people of Bohol are used to adversity. Let's keep giving so they can have a joyful Christmas!
Love to all,
Melanie & Anthony xoxo