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Imagine one day that a storm takes your home away. It takes your livelihood. It uproots you and your family. It even injures and kills your loved ones. Imagine clinging to all you own, clinging to the ground while strong winds destroy everything around you, one piece at a time. Imagine that after the storm, after the typhoon, what you once called home is nothing but a plot of land, a home leveled to the ground; all that’s left are the memories. Imagine having to rebuild your home. Hand in hand with other mothers, children, farmers, fathers, sisters & brothers.
This past December,Typhoon Pablo devastated a vast region of Mindanao leaving thousands of families without homes. Typhoon Pablo has claimed the lives of 1,901 people, injured more than 2,666 people and created over $1 million dollars in damage. The communities did not have to imagine; it became their reality. Many would call this a natural disaster but we would like to bring light to it as an (un)natural disaster. The region of Mindanao is known to be the mining grounds of multi-national corporations who conduct illegal mining and are causing further environmental damage. Because mining companies and corporations continue their activities at the cost of the environment, they create the conditions for (un)natural disasters to occur, at the most destructive levels.
Mindanao is not the only region that is affected by these (un)natural disasters. Typhoon Sendong struck the Visayas last year. Knowing that the Philippines is a typhoon prone region, one would think that the infrastructures have already been set in place so that the communities are not affected at this scale year after year, but the Philippine government has not shown any movement towards creating such systems. In spite of the lack of government support, more than three months have passed and the resilient communities still continue to rebuild and imagine what once was their homes.
A team of four will be running to raise support for our kababayans (compatriots) in Mindanao, because we see this as one of the biggest ways we can support the communities rebuild. We are one family, one Filipino people. It is our duty to help and support our kababayans!