Editha Ponse lost most of her belongings when Typhoon Haiyan tore through her village in the Philippines last November.
A coconut tree, uprooted by ferocious winds flattened her home. Many of her clothes, furniture and kitchen utensils were destroyed, or simply swept away.
Sadly, her only source of income – a small shop – was ruined too. Her only salvation was that she was able to evacuate safely.
Forced from her home, she sought help from her neighbours. A widow, with her three children married and living away, 69 year-old Editha’s future was uncertain.
‘Because of my age and having no one to depend on to rebuild my house, I could have still been living in a makeshift hut with a neighbour,’ explains Editha.
‘Thank you Christian Aid not only for the help in rebuilding my home but also for the food relief that we received. I never expected any help.'
Christian Aid partner RDI-Leyte supported Editha through a cash for work programme, whereby community members receive an income for carrying out vital community work; such as clearing debris, cutting up felled coconut trees for re use, or helping people like Editha rebuild their homes.
Bringing communities together
Cash for work can help bring communities together in the aftermath of emergencies like Typhoon Haiyan. While the projects provide a much needed income for the most vulnerable they also serve the community and other equally vulnerable people such as Editha.
Often, in an effort to make ends meet, many households are forced to sell their belongings and slide deeper into debt. Cash for work projects are crucial in helping communities rebuild.
Slowly but surely Editha is starting again. Her shop is once more open for business. Now, Editha intends to earn enough money to repay the amount she borrowed to restock her shop.
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