Philippines Uncategorized

Resilient homes for 126 families

Like a lot of families, Winona’s home before was built out of corrugated iron sheeting, wood panels and tarpaulin above sea level in the “no build zone”. Her previous home was easily damaged by strong winds and rain. Now, the wind and rain are no longer a major concern.

After the devastating destruction caused by Typhoon Yolanda on November 8th 2013, which affected over 14 million people and cost the lives of at least 6,000 people, thousands of families still live in fear and unsafe conditions. As part of the humanitarian recovery and rehabilitation response, ACTED with support from Agence Française de Développement (AFD), ALSTOM Foundation and Lafarge implemented a multi-sector project which included the construction of 126 resilient shelters – “Eastwinds Residences” and supporting income generating activities of 38 beneficiaries. The project has come to a closure, with beneficiaries moving into their shelters and starting a new chapter in their lives. Below are several testimonials as the moves are made.

Rona –“A two-storey concrete shelter! Who would have thought?”

Living in the “no build zone” was terrifying for Rona and her family of 4 children as they were exposed to dangers posed by natural disasters, having survived through Typhoon Haiyan. However, as her husband earns a living for the family from fishing, the family did not have the financial capacity to move elsewhere.

No time was wasted moving into her new home in Eastwinds Residences. The residences, built within a safe location, are resilient to withstand typhoon winds. Beautifications of the house have been well underway, such as installing curtains, planting roses outside the house and painting the interior green. She has not been able to start her food vending livelihood business in the market as it is not fully functioning yet as families are slowly moving into their homes. Rona is still getting used to living in a two-storey concrete house with her family as she never expected that would be a reality.

Entrance way to Rona’s home, which was built above the sea in the « no build zone » in Guiuan. Her home and family were at risk and vulnerable to the regular high winds, typhoons and storm surges in the area, Philippines 2017.

Maria – On-going house improvements

Maria, her husband and four children were severely affected by Typhoon Haiyan, as their small house and pump boat were washed away during the disaster. As the family depended on fishing, the loss of the pump boat was devastating. The proposition by ACTED for Maria to set up an alternative livelihood and move her family into a resilient and safe shelter were immediately welcomed.

As the market in the Eastwinds Residences is not fully running yet due to many families still making the move, Maria is concentrated now on enhancing the interior of her new home. She has painted the inside of the house blue and pink and placed curtains on the second floor. After officially moving the family in and the presence of the community grows she plans to start selling her fruits and vegetables in the local market built in the residences by ACTED. This will provide an alternative source of income for her family.

On-going house improvements at Maria’s house, Philippines 2017

Winona – “ACTED is now associated to me with the words safe shelter”

It has now been a month that Winona, her husband and five children have moved into their new safe permanent shelter. Due to the successive days of bad weather, Winona and her family immediately moved into their new shelter as their home in Barangay 07 was located in the “no build zone” above the sea water.

With a family’s minimal income, Winona never expected her family would be able to move into a two storey concrete house that is safe and not located near the “no build zone” She and her family can now feel safe and no longer afraid they will be affected by bad weather or high tide waters. She’s elated they now have their own latrine and no longer need to share!


Like most of the beneficiaries, Jenoveva has spent the last few weeks enhancing the interior of her families’ new shelter. The family directly moved in due to the bad weather, which posed a severe risk in her previous home and generated fear amongst the family. Today however her family no longer has to worry about being safe, instead about planting flowery plants along the veranda and how to build a second kitchen at the back of the house.