News / Asia

    Q&A with Jayette Salvador: Recovering from Typhoon Haiyan

    FILE - An aerial view of a coconut plantation and houses in a village destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan in Tolosa, Leyte in central Philippines, Nov. 19, 2013.
    FILE - An aerial view of a coconut plantation and houses in a village destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan in Tolosa, Leyte in central Philippines, Nov. 19, 2013.
    Six months ago, Typhoon Haiyan wrecked parts of Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines where more than 6,000 people were killed. Typhoon Yolanda, as it was called in that country, hit the Philippines' Eastern Visayas region the hardest. The widespread devastation in the area, such as what the storm surge did to Tacloban City, made headlines all over the world.
     
    Almost immediately after the typhoon, charitable donations started pouring into the country and humanitarian organizations - both worldwide and local - got to work on recovery.
     
    Jayette Salvador is the founder of Bangon Madridejos, a community organization she established the day after Typhoon Yolanda ravaged her hometown on the northern tip of Cebu Island. Salvador, who is based in Cebu City, said that what started as a shout-out to her some 2,000 Facebook friends for help has become a full-fledged relief organization that's done everything from re-building houses to helping grocers get back in business in Madridejos. She said donations are mostly made from abroad.
     
    Voice of America Daybreak Asia's Ashley Westerman spoke with Salvador about seeing her hometown of Madridejos right after the storm.
     
    SALVADOR: One word for the devastation is it looked like a warzone. So when we stepped in our town, I was really crying. The port was busted, only one rollo could dock and then everything, uprooted trees, houses turned into pieces, the boats - the fishing boats - totally damaged. What else? Uprooted trees. No coconut trees. No trees anymore to give you shade, it's very, very hot there. And everything, everything I saw I posted on our page right away. I even took videos. So when they found out about this, when saw first-hand the situation in our town, they were all worried but at least they know that [there were] no causalities, their families are safe, although they don't have houses already but at least no casualties.
     
    WESTERMAN: So what kind of work has your organization been doing since Typhoon Yolanda, also known as Haiyan, since it hit?
     
    SALVADOR: First week after Yolanda we were distributing relief goods, because the rollos are not back and [operating] normally to supply the rice, the needs of the people. Second week of November, I was already distributing materials to fix their boats until now, it's still ongoing. And then another, for livelihood also, another thing for livelihood is livestock raising. We gave out piglets for them to raise and then, feeding programs, relief goods, rebuild-a-boat, livelihood things that was all our projects, all our campaigns.
     
    WESTERMAN: Are there still needs that need to be met in the area?
     
    SALVADOR: Oh yes, a lot. A lot still needs to be done. More people still don't have decent houses and livelihood. That's my very concern right now because when I was giving out boat materials, many would approach me and be like, "Ma’am, don't you have materials for our houses? The sun is very hot, the kids are very sick now." Because it gets really hot in the morning and really cold in the evening and they don't have a decent roof, a decent house. And that's why I - I forgot to mention this - I organized a medical drive. We gave out vitamins, hygiene kits for the kids because after Yolanda many kids were very sick.
     
    WESTERMAN: Now that we're six months out from the storm, how do you think reconstruction is going? And do you ever think your hometown of Madredejos will ever be fully recovered?
     
    SALVADOR: Actually, I went home last Holy Week and I can see that, yes, they have recovered, like, I can say, 50% of the people. Fifty percent of the people are slowly recovering. And what I like most about my home folks is they're really self-reliant, self-sufficient. They don't rely mostly on help from other people especially from the government. I'm so amazed of their spirit, very hopeful.

    You May Like

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora