HAIYAN – Typhoon Disaster Relief
SULU'AN ISLAND, Easternmost island off Tacloban mainland,, Philippines
INTI RAYMI INVESTIGATES HOW TO GIVE SUPPORT
On November 8, 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), which is said to be the strongest windfall in recorded human history, devastated portions of Southeast Asia.
In the Philippines alone an estimated 10,000 were killed. In response, the Inti Raymi Fund (IRF) worked with first generation FilipinoAmerican, Alvin Pagdanganan Gregorio, Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. Together, Chimu (David McGrain, founder of Inti Raymi) and Alvin travelled to Tacloban City, the epicenter of loss and destruction, and searched for an opportunity to provide relief to some of the victims. Through conversations with Bong (their driver), his son Victor, locals and foreign aid officials, IRF was made aware of Suluan, a tiny little island (less than 3 km. at its widest) off Samar that was the first to be hit by Haiyan. Not surprisingly, Suluan received only one helicopter “drop” worth of aid due to its remote location. We chose to investigate this isolated island.
The larger vessels that would have made travel to Suluan less dangerous were destroyed by the typhoon. The only transport available to IRF were small fishing boats (bancas). Chimu, Alvin, Jippy (a filmmaker from Manila), Bong, Victor and NeLo, the boat’s captain, travelled 2 1⁄2 hours over the choppy waters of the Gulf of Leyte to this tiny island. Upon arriving, the eclectic group met with some of the locals and surveyed the damage. IRF asked that a village meeting be called that would include as many of the islanders as possible. At that meeting, they gave a brief explanation of their intentions and what they would be able to provide in assistance ($25,000 USD or ₱1,100,000 PHP) and gave the village two tasks.
The first was to decide if, and how, the funding should be distributed/allocated, or if the funds should remain in one bulk sum. Secondly, who amongst them were trusted enough to hold the cash until a decision was made on how to utilize it. A range of suggestions on how the funds could be utilized was offered by IRF, but ultimately the Suluan people needed to decide for themselves. IRF acknowledges that this open ended funding undoubtedly causes disagreements but, nevertheless, believes that direct funding of a project is the best way to maximize the gift funds. We prompted the community to resolve any disagreements quickly and amicably. The community agreed to have these two tasks completed by the next morning.
At 9 a.m. the following morning, IRF met with about 400500 members of the community. They had decided to break up the money into Zonas, the seven districts that already existed and elected three members from each district to hold the funds. IRF then assisted in distributing the funds equally to each designated individual. After a few more hours of conversations, IRF boarded the banca to their next destination (Colombia).
More information on the Inti Raymi Fund can be found at www.intiryami.org or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We posted a very rough video, which is part of various clips we had. Unfortunately at this time, we were not savy on filming our expeditions as we are today. This rough footage does however, give you a feel for the devastation but wonderful faces we were greeted with upon arrival.
Start Date: Jan 2014
Completion Date: Jan 2014
Funded so far: $26,195 USD
Total Project: $26,195 USD
Lives Affected: 1,750
Chimu, Bong & Victor Ordejan-Tacloban guides, Jippy-Film maker, Alvin Gregorio