After our first trip to the Philippines in January of 2014 we sat down with our partners, Barebones, Tifie and Action Humanitarian, and decided how we could best use our resources to help the people affected by the typhoon. From our assessments on the ground we were able to identify approximately 50 families that could benefit from shelter, power and equipment for gardening.
When we returned in May of this year we organized efforts and began to set up the shelters, power and gardening spaces. We were happy to see the eager residents moving into the structures before they were even completed. They brought what little belongings they had and began transforming their new homes by decorating, building patios and leveling their new floors. For many this was the first proper shelter they had slept in since the typhoon.
We are grateful for not only our American-based partners on the project, but also for those in the Philippines that donated so much. The land for this project was graciously donated by a local family, who deeded parcels of land for the shelters. “I was talking to Inigo Larazabal and thanking him for giving up some of his farmland to put the shelters on,” said Rebecca Litchfield, Goal Zero Director of Community Programs. “His response was ‘What is good for the community is good for me.’ ”
There is still much to be done in the Philippines and we understand it will be a long process with many obstacles, but we also know that at times all people need in life is a break. “We made a difference by giving them hope,” said Ryan Baylis, Goal Zero Brand Content Manager. “The typhoon not only destroyed most, if not all, of their belongings but it also took away their jobs, and sense of security. They had their world literally flipped over. Giving them this home and power helps them to start on the path back to normalcy.”