YOLANDA – Everyone was surprised at the devastation wrought by this typhoon when it hit the Philippines late 2013. From Manila, I felt helpless when I saw how Yolanda swept through the Visayan region and its dreadful aftermath. We were very much aware of the immediate help that came from all over the country and the world to relief the victims with short-term support. As the media exposure subsided, I cannot help but wonder if a sustainable rebuilding plan has been put in place to give those impacted with a fresh new start.
Right before the summer of 2014, I was excited when an opportunity came up for iVolunteer to help Gawad Kalinga recruit volunteers for the Bayani Challenge 2014: Walang Iwanan. It’s the seventh year of the program and focused on helping the Yolanda victims rebuild their homes across 12 provinces, with the help of one million volunteers.