With water supply gradually being restored in some parts of Cebu, a province in central Philippines, World Vision recently distributed hygiene kits to families affected by Typhoon Odette (international name Rai) to prevent post-calamity diseases from poor hygiene and sanitation. ruin
Siblings Nathaniel, 13, Enrique, 11, and Mary Rose, 5, were all smiles when their mother, Nena returned home with the hygiene kit. The siblings curiously looked inside and found soaps, toothpastes and toothbrushes among the items. There was also a colorful malong, a tube skirt usually worn by women and girls, that can also be used as blanket.
“This is mine!” Rose says, seeing a toothbrush for children in the box.
“And these are mine!” Enrique says, holding the toothpastes, teasing his sister. But Rose ignored him. She didn’t seem to get the point that her toothbrush won’t be of any use without the toothpastes.
The brothers laughed at their youngest sibling’s innocence.
Looking at their children, Nena and Edward were amused. “It’s a sort of gift to them,” Nena, 42, says, explaining that most of the relief items they received were in plastics and mostly food. This is the first time they’ve received such items.
Nena and Edward’s family used to live in a single-room apartment fronting the sea. Edward says that they all ran to a relative’s house located in a much higher ground before Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) pummeled their house. “When I came back after the storm, I saw our walls completely gone. And what’s inside our house were those rocks,” the 49-year-old father says, pointing at the rocks on the ground as big as a liter of soda. “Our things were scattered outside, some are missing such as our washing machine. We even lost our clothes. What we’re using now are clothes that our relatives lend and gave us.” The family currently lives in an apartment next door that has no door.