No one imagined what a ‘storm surge’ would be like.
We are normally buffeted by 20-25 typhoons a year, the fiercest three in the past four years with winds of up to 290 kph. But this one has left us dumbstruck, leveling down the entire city of Tacloban, Guiuan and most of Eastern Samar in three hours, and reducing our people into bewildered hopelessnes.
Currently, ISACC has been doing a psycho-spiritual and rehabilitation program in Barangay 89, a community in San Jose, Tacloban City. San Jose is one of the most devastated areas struck by the Haiyan storm surge that leveled down Leyte and other parts of central Philippines. In response to the massive trauma, ISACC, in partnership with ICCO, did a series of capacity-building seminars in doing Psychological First Aid (PFA) and trauma counseling. As of last count, about 1,500 community leaders, barangay health workers, pastors and staff of faith-based development organizations, city social workers, medical students of UP Palo Health Sciences, and faculty and development students of the Eastern Visayas State University and Leyte Normal University have undergone training in psycho-spiritual trauma care. Children loved the art and play therapy interventions. An intentional renewal of the community’s spiritual and cultural memory was done through leadership retreats for the barangay leaders and reenactments like the Seven Last Words and the Cenaculo, the dramatized passion of Christ, during Holy Week. ISACC through a series of consultations with the community is now also at a stage of accompanying the people in their struggle for livelihood and the rebuilding of their community.
ISACC is now developing a spiritual formation program in preparation for the relocation of the people in Barangay 89 to Community of Hope, a new village that Operation Blessing is building in Palanog, Tacloban.
Volunteers and financial support to this work are welcome.
Photos of ISACC’s work in Tacloban City after Super Typhoon HaiyanTyphoon-Haiyan-Update-1_123113_revised_022614