A group of seven VFV volunteers packed their bags to go for an overnight trip to a lovely village on a little island just north of Leyte, Brgy. Planza in Babatngon.
The Filipino military had a massive truck available for us, which we needed to load up all the supplies. The fun part was to load all our supplies onto the Filipino ‘Bangkas’ boats to get everything to Planza, but with a few times going back and forth we managed to get everything across the water. The principal of Planza Elementary school and a whole bunch of kids gave us a very warm welcome. And of course the Filipino hospitality made sure we had lunch before we started working.
During typhoon Yolanda gladly most of the school got spared except for one classroom. A massive tree got blown over by the strong winds and fell straight down onto the roof of the room. We brought new supplies to rebuild the classroom but first we had to get rid of this big tree. The boys started with the chainsaw, cutting down piece by piece. Straight away the local guys came out to help and naturally they seemed much more comfortable on the roof with their ‘monkey-skills’.
The girls helped around cleaning up and being a safety barrier to keep the kids at a distance.
A lot of the village boys came to help us and seemed very happy to make themselves useful. Like the principal said, “they need fresh motivation from volunteers like you to keep us going.” So together with the local people we worked very hard and by the end of the day we had the tree down!
It’s an annual event. Notwithstanding Haiyan, Volunteer for the Visayans‘ medical mission will push through.
For the past 13 years, one of VFV’s major activities is the medical mission. All those years, 13 rural communities and hundreds of patients have been served.
This year, on the 25th of April, VFV will hold its medical mission in Pastrana, Leyte. A team of doctors, dentists, and nurses will carry out minor surgeries and dental procedures. The support team of both international and local volunteers will ensure the smooth flow of patients, replenish supplies, and dispense medicines. Organizing the whole event is the dynamic VFV team who will make sure that everything is in order, from putting up a medical team to purchasing supplies and medicines, setting up the venue, and coordinating the different teams.
By: Mandy Schouren
It’s getting hotter and hotter every day in Leyte, summer is coming.
The rain which is mostly gone, made it very difficult for the local people to find a livable spot after Yolanda because they had a lot of floodings the following weeks. This meant big muddy areas everywhere, hardly a dry place to sleep and unfortunately this also came with a lot of diseases.
A lot of medical volunteers are working very hard to help as much as they can. The line-up in front of the pharmacy is very long, every day, but we are glad there are medical supplies coming in and people are getting help. Some VFV volunteers brought in medical supplies which they distributed to a rural village where the hospital was very low on supplies.