Scouts joined in the massive rescue and relief operations after the deadly typhoon Washi ravaged northern Mindanao, a southern island in the Philippines, particularly Cagayan De Oro and Iligan cities early morning of 17th December 2011, sweeping away nearly 50,000 homes and affecting hundreds of people.
In partnership with the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, ShelterBox, an international disaster response team, headed to the devastated areas of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, with Scouts from Mizamis Oriental and Cagayan De Oro to set up camps, provide emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for the most vulnerable families.
ShelterBox provides emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for families around the world who are affected by disasters, at the time when they need it the most. Also last year, ShelterBox worked with Scouts in Brazil in serving around 70 families made homeless by floods and mudslides in eastern Brazil.
With combined efforts from the national and local Scout councils and ShelterBox, support continues as tens of thousands of people remain displaced weeks after the deadly typhoon struck Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities.
‘As more ShelterBoxes and tents arrive, more hands seem to become available to put them up,’ said SRT volunteer Abner Tayco (PH). ‘It’s incredible seeing how many people out there have huge support for the work that ShelterBox does and they want to help out as much as they can in any way they can.’
SRT volunteer Lyndon Tamblyn (NZ) demonstrated to Scouts how to set up ShelterBox tents at the Calaanan camp. By the end of the day, 50 tents were set up.
‘It’s been amazing having help from the Scouts and they have brought with them a wealth of knowledge in setting up camps,’ said Lyndon. ‘It was easy to show them how to put up the tents as they already knew about distance and spacing so we have been able to work at double our normal pace.
The SRT also received support from aid agency volunteers and local rotarians who helped set up at least 200 tents to date.
A selection of senior and Rover Scouts of Liceo de Cagayan University and other schools also volunteered in the Safer River Life Saver Foundation, who assisted in rescuing, repacking and distributing food, clothes and medicines.
-- ShelterBox, with reports from Scouter Glenn Anora, Cagayan De Oro Council