Local foundation raises millions for Typhoon Haiyan relief effort
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
"It's like somebody took a gigantic bowling ball, rolled it through the Visayas and flattened everything. That's what it looks like". John Matsuoka, President and CEO of the Consuelo Foundation, used those terms to describe the devastation Typhoon Haiyan brought upon the Philippines.
Wednesday, he outlined how the foundation will use the $3.3 million it raised for relief and rebuilding efforts. The intitiative, named Project H.O.P.E. (Haiyan Operations for Protection and Empowerment) aims to "ensure the safety and protection of children and help their families regain their stability by promoting economic adequacy and assistance in the creation of safe, healthy, protective and resilient communities for all".
Set for implementation over the next two and a half years, Project HOPE will be split into two phases, Early Recovery and Rehabilitation and Rebuilding.
Early Recovery will run for six months and has just begun. "There are plenty of folks on the ground providing emergency relief in the form of temporary shelters, mostly tents, and food, water and sanitation" said Matsuoka. Additionally, child safe areas have been established to protect children from kidnapping and exploitation.
Rehabilitation and Rebuilding will occur after Early Recovery has been completed.
"Very few have invested in the long term recovery process, so this is where we found our niche" said Matsuoka.
This phase will call for the reconstruction of infrastructure and local economies such as fishing. While permanent housing will be built, Project HOPE has budgetary limitations.
Said Matsuoka, "3.3 million dollars is a drop in the bucket compared to the billions needed for recovery".
That's why the Consuelo Foundation is hoping their effort is just the tip of the spear.
"Hopefully the Philippine government and other foundations will be impressed by what we're doing and replicate them on a more massive scale".
More information on the Consuelo Foundation can be found at Consuelo.org.