By Monty Audenart, aide to Rotary President Ron Burton and a Rotary Foundation Trustee
If there is one thing that’s evident in the Philippines, it’s that the people are resilient. When disasters like Typhoon Haiyan strike, there is grief, but then they get down to surviving.
As a Rotary Foundation Trustee, I was invited to take part in six district recognition celebrations for The Rotary Foundation in the Philippines involving ten Rotary districts. The events were planned months in advance and just happened to involve District 3860, hit hard by the typhoon. In attendance at the recognition celebration in Cebu was a past governor and his spouse from Tacloban, who had lost everything in the storm, but still came to the event to support the Foundation.
During my stay, I took time to visit damaged areas in northern Cebu with District Governor Ed Chiongbian, RI Director-elect Guiller Tumangan, and local Rotary members, helping deliver water, food and medical supplies to those in need.
When I returned to Manila, I also had the opportunity to serve as a dental volunteer on a medical project, working alongside local dentists in Las Pinas.
It was heartwarming just seeing the response of so many people on the ground in the Philippines. Many trees have been removed, and the efforts to provide shelter have been amazing. Many hands are there helping. But there is so much area to cover.
It will be a long recovery process. Clubs in Rotary District 3860 have created a relief fund for victims. Learn more.
You can also help by working with relief agencies like these: