Back from the Philipines, British aid worker reflects on Typhoon Haiyan

Robert Slinn, a great friend and an aid worker who has recently returned from the Philippines, writes about how he is feeling in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

Rob
Back in July I returned from one of the best work placements I have had – in the land full of smiles, the Philippines. Or at least that is how I left it.

I have watched the recent devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan with extreme sadness. I have spent the last few days glued to my computer and phone in constant communication with friends and colleagues. In some cases, people are safe and well. In other areas, I know the very best case scenario is that my friends are alive but homeless.

Despite this, I know that my fears and concerns are nothing compared to those who have direct relatives and loved ones unaccounted for.

I’ve been organising aid efforts with local Filipinos in my home city of Winchester, and I have been particularly moved at how they have been coping with the situation. Agnes is one of many local Filipino nurses. She is very anxious about her relatives back in the Philippines. Her mother-in-law is living in the Visayas region, the area which was worst hit:

“Our family has been directly affected. We have not been in contact for 5 days. We are just hoping and praying that she is safe and alive”.

Agnes, the Filipino residents of Winchester, and I have spent some time thinking of what we can do to help. We are running some fundraising events this weekend and will also collect clothing, toiletries and non-perishable goods which will be sent to effected communities. It feels good to try to do something positive for the people we care for far away.

However, I am aware that despite being an excellent city, not everyone lives near Winchester! That is why I am making an appeal to you directly, through Hynd’s Blog. We are fundraising for Shelterbox, a charity that provides temporary accommodation and support to people after natural disasters.

I met some Shelterbox workers whilst living in the Philippines. They regularly do a great job in providing shelter and support to people affected by the landslides, earthquakes and typhoons that occur in the Philippines. This temporary accommodation will be extremely useful to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been displaced as a result of Typhoon Haiyan.

Shelterbox workers will be extremely busy in the coming weeks and months and will need our support.

If you would like to help then please visit http://www.justgiving.com/robert-slinn2. Any donation is very much welcome, even a single pound, dollar or euro would be a great help!

Thanks for any help you can give and for taking the time to read this.

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