Two Years After: Hope Rises Again

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COH-Palanog Turn-Over Ceremony

Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines (OB) held the turn-over ceremony of the first 20 houses in the Community of Hope – Palanog today.

The construction of the first 20 houses began in June. Each house employs Hilti Foundation – Base Bahay’s bamboo cement technology which allows it to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake and typhoons of up to 250 kph. OB plans to build a total of 324 of these houses to serve 324 families.

The people’s committee, composed of members from both OB and the Institute for Studies in Asian Church and Culture (ISACC), thoroughly deliberated which families would best benefit from these houses. They have since been working alongside the beneficiaries to prepare them to start their new lives in these newly-built homes, meeting weekly to equip them physically, mentally, and spiritually for the transition.

Aside from the houses, the Community of Hope – Palanog will also have community centers composed of a health station, day care room, administration office, youth activity and recreational area, and a livelihood training area. These adjoining centers will also double as evacuation centers in case of disasters that would require those in their neighboring communities to evacuate. There will also be a market area, transport terminal, farm land for planting and raising high-value crops and livestock, as well as parks for children and the elderly. Through this, OB hopes to be able to holistically serve these displaced families.

There was a short program as we turned over the houses to these families. Being the day after the second anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda, it is a fitting celebration for the families who have triumphed over the challenges the typhoon brought. OB is inviting members of its Board of Trustees, its partners, as well as representatives of the local government and the Office of the Mayor and Vice Mayor of Tacloban to the festivities.

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