Partners for Recovery

Partners for Recovery

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Michael and Emma Dacillio have a good partnership as husband and wife: he takes care of their farm and livelihood needs; she is in charge of looking after their five daughters and running the household. 

They are residents of Santa Fe in the Leyte region of the Philippines. While they are far from affluent, having their own small rice farm means they never go hungry.

Michael's perseverance in working extra on neighbors' farms as a tractor operator for supplementary income provides for their other daily needs as well. Life is not too hard for them and they are happy. 

Emma even got her wish for her daughters to have their own bedrooms and an indoor bathroom (as opposed to many homes in their village where the bathroom is usually located outside the house) when their home was renovated in June 2013. 

But super typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in November 2013 and took robbed a piece of their happiness. 

Their newly-renovated house was totally destroyed by the storm's wrath. Now, two months later, they live in a makeshift house with a tarpaulin roof and damaged wood for walls and posts. Their temporary shelter now is far worse than their old house before it was renovated. 

Fortunately, before the storm hit, Michael had finished harvesting their rice. While some of the sacks were soaked, he was able to salvage them by drying the grains as soon as the sun came out again days after the storm. The rice quality was not the same, but at least the supply ensured they would not go hungry in the difficult months after the typhoon.

Nevertheless, Emma says her heart continued to ache for their destroyed home, as they no longer had any resources to rebuild a new one. That’s why she was so happy when she learned that CARE would be distributing shelter repair kits to assist vulnerable survivors whose homes were destroyed. Her family qualified to receive shelter support and she considers that a blessing. 

During the shelter repair kit distribution on January 8, two months after the disaster hit, the husband and wife went to their community center to get their housing materials. A cash assistance of 3,000 pesos (roughly $68) will soon follow to enable them to purchase more items they will need to rebuild their home. 

"We can't even afford the cost of sheets needed for new roofing, so this is really a big help. Whatever little money my husband is able to earn now goes to our basic needs. But we also cannot live for long in a makeshift house, it is not good, especially for my young daughters. With CARE's help and its local partner ACCORD, we can now look forward to a house that is built better," says Emma.

Written by Winnie Aguilar, CARE Philippines communications officer

Keep learning:

Michael and Emma Dacillo's house was newly-renovated when typhoon Haiyan struck their town in Leyte, badly damaging their home. With CARE's shelter kit distribution, they are happy to rebuild their home.