While assessing damage caused by typhoon Yolanda last week we were contacted by someone from Christian Relief Fund and international charity which also operates in the Philippines. They had been working at a location called Arapal Camp in a rural area between Bogo and San Remigio at the Northern end of island of Cebu.
Arapal camp had been operating for years and had developed as a community project with a children’s home, water and irrigation projects, livelihood training and much more. The various people and organisations there had been working together with the local population and some fantastic work had been done. Below are some pictures to give you an impression of the location.
Unfortunately the typhoon has caused widespread damage to the buildings and area. Efforts are underway to repair the damage and restore the facilities but much work is needed. They (still) have their own water supply and a generator for power but little else. Outside aid has been as good as non-existent. To quote one of the people working there for the last few years:
We need to upgrade our communications for our local workers and international guests. We are safe place to stay. Villagers are peaceful. We have been doing community service there for seven years. We send kids to school and feed them. Our #1 project is teaching self-sufficiency through various agri techniques, mostly organic.
Disaster Tech Lab is sending a team to the camp to provide both emergency communication services for them (Internet access and VoIP services) but we will also work toward building a more permanent IT infrastructure which can be used in the children’s home but also for general education. We plan to have a team in Arapal Camp by the middle of next week to carry out the first needs assessments.
Below are some images to show you the condition of the camp now: