KAWANA Director Shane Moroney has joined an international group of philanthropists in restoring life in the Philippines following the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
Shane joined famed British entrepreneur Greg Secker, along with other contributors, in the Build A House, Build A Home project, which saw more than 400 people into safe housing, including about 200 children.
Typhoon affected families moved into the 100-home village on January 5, and Shane was there to join the new community for a long-awaited celebration.
He said there were many tears shed in joy as it had been four years since some of the villagers had experienced a stable roof over their heads.
“As we drove through the town we could see the raw truth about how people had been living since the typhoon; the devastation is still very real,” Shane said.
“Seeing this and then experiencing the sheer joy on the faces of the villagers benefitting from the Build A House, Build A Home project was a feeling I will never forget.”
Super Typhoon Haiyan, locally named Yolanda hit on November 8, 2013. The typhoon affected an estimated 14 million people, resulted in 6,183 deaths, 28,626 injuries, and the displacement of more than four million people.
Half a million homes were destroyed, including those from the community of Lemery, where many of the surviving villagers had built shanties out of bamboo and scrap tin.
Through an association with Mr Secker, who had already begun work on restoring welfare for the people of the Philippines, Mr Moroney sought to join the cause in September 2017.
“I heard about his plight and that of the people in the Philippines and knew I had to help too,” he said.
“The project wasn’t just about building a home; it was about rebuilding the village so that the town could become sustainable and they can go on and make a living, and live a better, more educated life.”
The two bedroom, one bathroom homes feature an outside kitchen or “dirty kitchen,” as traditionally seen in the Philippines. There was a community hall built for village meetings and work on a training centre was underway.
Mr Moroney planned to return to the village mid-year to assist in the final stages.
“There will be hands-on work, such as painting, that will need completing to get the training centre up and running for the community,” he said.
“At the training centre, the community members will be able to learn trades such as hospitality and hair and beauty, and hopefully we can start seeing some of the community members with jobs and leading the way for a better future for their children.”