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Monday 14 March 2016

Reinforcing family foundations
Reinforcing family foundations Children from the Capangpangan family in the village of Binay, Philippines.

Typhoon Melor tore through the Philippines last December, leaving 14,400 families with damaged or destroyed houses – houses that were no longer fit to live in. However, your support has helped us provide the vital tools needed to rebuild homes and repair communities.


One of those homes belonged to the Capangpangan family in the village of Binay. Robert and Jennibeth Capangpangan have eight children aged between four and 15. We recently returned to the Philippines to see how the family are recovering after the typhoon.

When the typhoon first passed over their village, the family sought shelter in their house made of coconut tree trunks covered in coconut leaves. Once the winds gained full strength, the house began to shake and the family had no choice but to flee to the nearby church.

The family’s possessions were lost; all that remained were a few floorboards

Under the strain of the typhoon, the house began to fall apart and the foundations collapsed. The family’s possessions were lost; all that remained were a few floorboards.

They not only lost their home and belongings, but their income too. Robert was a coconut farmer, but with the majority of coconut trees lost in the typhoon, his livelihood has gone. As a result, his wife Jennibeth has had to leave the family to work in the capital Manila.

When the winds died down, the family returned to their home and Robert tried to construct some new walls out of coconut leaves and tarpaulins provided by the local authorities. The shelter held, but it didn’t feel safe and secure enough for the family.

However, at the start of January, Robert received a shelter kit from ShelterBox, containing corrugated iron sheeting and a range of hardwearing tools. The kit enabled the family to start rebuilding their home.

Rebuilding the family home helped us get our lives back to some sort of normality

Robert said: ‘The kit means everything to us. I’ve lost my livelihood and my income, so without this kit, I wouldn’t have been able to rebuild my family’s home.' 

The materials in the kit meant that Robert could start rebuilding a stronger home that was more resilient than the previous house. They were able to reinforce the foundations and build a much sturdier roof.

Robert added: ‘Rebuilding the family home helped us get our lives back to some sort of normality. After the typhoon hit, the children were ill, but now we have a proper home again, they are well and back in school.‘

In total, your support has enabled us to distribute 900 shelter kits to help people rebuild their homes again.
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