Working closely with our chief local partner KAISA, Amity Foundation arranged a second visit to Iloilo during 21–24 March to oversee the further phases of relief aid and rehabilitation work. Altogether 50 boats were handed over to fisher families. In parallel, some site visits were made to inspect the emergency repairs project for school classrooms, which roofs were destroyed and are in the danger of collapsing.
Amity Foundation Hong Kong took part in the joint relief operation for Hayian victims in January 2014, which effort benefited 5,000 families and some 25,000 people in 41 barangays in Ajuy, Batad and San Dionisio. During the second trip Anthony Tong, Executive Diretor of Amity Foundation Hong Kong, together with Amity Consultant Theresa Carino went to Iloilo to take part in the emergency repair of school roofs project and the handover of fishing boats. The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club members provided 34 out of the total of 50 fiberglass boats by generously donating HK$150,000.
From interviewing fishermen on the spot, we learnt that many of them are still living at the subsistence level with a sharp decline of income from the previous 200 – 400 pesos down to the post-typhoon 100 – 150 pesos. Therefore, the local people and officials warmly welcomed the “Bankabuhayan” (translated as “Fishing boats for livelihood”) project championed by KAISA and supported by Amity.
On the boat project in Ajuy, KAISA partnering volunteers from the Iloilo Citizen Action Group (ICAG) and the Red Cross Iloilo Chapter (RC) took a participatory approach and worked out with local representatives a distribution scheme based on relative needs of the recipients. Besides the hull, other equipment including an engine, a propeller and shaft as well fishing nets so recipients could regain their livelihood by fishing soon. A social contract encouraged the beneficiaries to plough back some of their income to a common fund in order to benefit other families in their respective local communities.
Some site inspections were made to do more fact-finding on schools destroyed in the storm. “In consideration of the degree of damage and the kind of risks children are being exposed to, the needs for emergency repairs are indeed justified.” said Anthony Tong after those inspections.
Finally, Amity staff took the opportunity to assist in the final phases of relief goods distribution of needy people in Ajuy and San Dionisio. Four month after the Super Typhoon Hayian, affected communities are still trying to reclaim their livelihood.