Hi, We are,
Beatriz & Nic
16yrs old 14yrs old

and are currently living in Deerfield, MA!
Thank you for helping the children in Tacloban recover and rebuild their community.

Update (December 2014)

According to the Philippine Red Cross at least 21 have died and over 1 million are affected by Typhoon Hagupit, that paralleled the same path traversed by Haiyan, barely a year ago. The families and children still struggling to rebuild their homes and schools, find themselves at ground zero, desperately trying to go on with everyday life, including attending school that is not possible for every child in the Philippines.

This summer, we plan to return to the eye of the storm in Tacloban to re-visit the schools and be reunited with the children we met last year. Through the Global Studies Program at our new school, Deerfield Academy, we will explore ways to advance our, “helping communities with children by children” initiative so that more students can become involved and increase the sustainability of these efforts. Funds raised through our web-based platform ( or will go directly to local schools and the most vulnerable population, elementary students, to off-set some of their educational costs. For example, we buy and distributing school kits containing basic supplies such as pencils, papers and scissors that many children cannot afford to buy; we establish a food kitchen, as many children walk long distances to school and need at least one nutritious meal; and we set up a fund so all kids can buy school uniforms and shoes to attend school. Thank you for your generous contributions!

Origins of Kids Across Countries

Though there is a sense of adventure in exploring a new place, along with drama and excitement that comes along the way, there is also a sense of loss for what we left behind. It is both sad and funny that when we are asked during orientation where we are from, we catch ourselves thinking about what answer we should give even though the question seems so easy and the answer is so obvious!

We have learned and feel that a big part of having a home is being part of the community we live in. The Philippines has touched us, not only because our father is from there and we have some extended relatives living there as well, but also because we lived there when calamities hit the country and saw the effect of such tragedies first hand. During the big Typhoon Ondoy, we witnessed extreme flooding and met directly with families who lost some loved ones or had their homes and livelihood ruined.

Our schools in Bethesda, Maryland, Cairo and Manila always had food drives and fund raisers for those affected by such events. We always contributed and helped out. But we also wanted to continue to help even when we have physically moved. We were part of the communities we lived in, and we still are even when we are away.

Children Helping Other Children

We decided to put this site up so we can continue to help, and ask friends and others alike to join us.

The funds we collect will be given by us directly to families or groups that have been affected by bad events in the Philippines. Our family will cover the cost of our travels so the money we receive will be given to help those in need.

For more photos Click here

Our First Trip to Iloilo

Together with Synergeia, Nic and I visited Punting Elementary School in Iloilo. Located in a small fishing village, the town of Tambiliza were full of the sounds of laughter lined by the sandy path. Colorful walls and smiling teachers greeted us at the gate and welcomed us into the courtyard. Small children started poking their heads out of their classrooms and their whispers reached us quickly. Before long, the 101 students from kindergarten to second grade lined up in straight lines hand on shoulders hands on shoulders. I was shocked to see how thin they were, their ribs jutting out and elbows extending past their taunt skin. The teacher next to me informed me that a majority of them were undernourished. In front of the flag poles were four perfect lines and we commenced distributing school supplies. Each bag consisted of: a pad of paper, notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, sharpeners and scissors. Spending time with them put a smile on their face and made my brother's and my day. They sent us off with hugs and high fives and we were touched by their warmth. We then visited the high school located two hours away by walking over a mountain. Students that live in that town wake up at four or five am to make it to class by seven. There, each classroom holds over 100 students. The extent of the damage caused by the typhoon is blatantly obvious. One clear indication was the fact that the roofs were torn off, some of the roofs have been patched up, others have tarps while some are still under construction. There are buckets under some of the patches to catch rainfall-- as rainy season in the Philippines is relentless. When interviewing children we found that only 3% of the students had the necessary school supplies. It was heartbreaking to see their conditions but empowering to see their spirit. They were passionate about learning (even if it was on a torn blackboard) and their teachers were inspirational. I wish I could share my experience through more than pictures but it's one of those things you need to see to feel.

Bea & Nic handing out school supplies to grade 1


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Typhoon Ruby Kills 4 People, Batters Philippines Anew
December 7, 2014 9:27 PM EST | By Vittorio Hernandez,
International Business Times

Just a little bit more than a year after Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) ravaged the Philippines in November 2013, another super typhoon, Ruby (Hagupit) battered the country again on Sunday, particularly the Eastern Visayas which was hit by Haiyan

So far, four people have died in evacuation centres due to extreme cold, while the tent cities built and which served as temporary shelter of Haiyan victims were totally blown away. Fortunately, many residents of provinces such as Leyte and Tacloban have heeded warnings and have moved to evacuation centres ahead before the super typhoon hit these provinces.

Homes that were rebuilt after Haiyan were again flattened to the ground, while many areas in Eastern Visayas are flooded and without electricity. According to Bloomberg, more than 20 power lines and transformers were destroyed in Eastern Visayas and Southern Luzon.

Reuters reports that more than one million people have left their homes and stayed in shelters such as schools and churches.

NBC reports that the eye of Ruby hit the town of Dolores in Eastern Samar Province at 9:15 pm on Saturday, while the second landfall hit the island of Masbate. Ruby is expected to make two more landfalls before it would leave the Philippines. The third is forecast to hit Sibuyan Island on Sunday night and would bring with it strong winds and storm surge.

Schools on Monday have been cancelled in affected provinces, including Metro Manila which is expected to be hit by Ruby tomorrow, with heavy rains expected until Friday night.

With the damage wrought by Ruby, the country is expected to take another economic hit like what Haiyan did in 2013. Germanwatch, a global climate risk index, said the Philippines lost $245 billion or 3.8 percent of its gross domestic product in 2013 due to weather-related events, of which $13 billion was caused by Haiyan.

Tacloban Hobbles on Road to Recovery
Saturday, February 15th, 2014 | By Joey Gabieta, Inquirer Visayas

Geraldine Glory, who is in full pregnancy, is having mixed emotions. She is excited to give birth to her second child but has not prepared anything for it. She also worries about the future of her growing family.

Glory and her common-law husband, Kycian de Dios, live in a tent with her 3-year-old daughter at Tacloban Convention Center and rely on relief items being distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Their house was among the thousands destroyed when storm surges spawned by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” leveled every structure in its path.

Both in their 20s, the couple want to rebuild their house in San Jose District in Tacloban City in Leyte province but cannot do so because its distance of within 6 meters from the shoreline has been declared a no-build zone.

De Dios could not return to his old job as a driver. He lost

his motorcycle to floodwaters spawned by the typhoon.

“We have not prepared anything for our second baby—no baby clothes, no diapers. Living in this tent is a daily reminder that we don’t live a normal life,” Glory said.

Their plight reflects the current condition of many residents of Tacloban, which is considered ground zero after a wall of seawater reaching as high as 6 meters crashed into structures on Nov. 8 last year. At least 2,600 people were killed while a thousand more were missing.

Three months after the devastation, Tacloban is still hobbling toward recovery.

Police officials maintain that the city is peaceful. Their records showed only four crimes against persons and eight against properties during the first week of January, much lower than the 44 and 137 reported, respectively, for the same period last year.

A total of 1,584 families (6,587 people) are still staying in 11 evacuation shelters, mostly in public schools. About 100 have already moved to bunkhouses located at Motocross in the city’s Apitong area, said Derrick Anido, city disaster risk reduction and management officer.

The presence of evacuees has affected the holding of classes on several campuses, including Rizal Central School, Kapangian Central School, Eastern Visayas State University, San Fernando Elementary School, San Jose Central School and Leyte National High School, which are among the biggest public schools in terms of student population.

They occupy the classrooms while the students go to makeshift classrooms.

Other displaced families have been sheltered at People’s Center, Grace Baptist Church, Street Light office (a nongovernment organization), the health center of Barangay 83-A and the Astrodome.

Much of Tacloban is still without power. Most street lights are not energized.

As of the first week of February, Leyte II Electric Cooperative Inc. (Leyeco II) had supplied power to only 7,288 households in the city or one-fifth of the total number of 51,065 households in Tacloban and the towns of Palo and Babatngon.

Ma. Rosario Avestruz, general manager of Leyeco II, said she hoped that power would be fully restored to all its 35,937 member-consumers in Tacloban by March.

The lack of power supply has forced some businesses to shorten their working hours because they rely on generator sets. Robinsons Mall, for one, is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. instead of the usual 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The three branches of Gaisano shopping mall have yet to reopen, possibly in May.

However, most of the groceries, drug and hardware stores, bakeshops, salons and food chains are open from

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Banking hours are from 8 a.m up to 5 p.m., instead of the usual 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Even government workers leave their offices before 5 p. m.

Communications lines, particularly land lines, have yet to be restored..

Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said loans ranging from P200,000 to P2 million were offered to help the businessmen start anew.

Hopefully, the money assistance will help jump-start the local economy and bring back the robust business environment in Tacloban before the storm.

‘Yolanda’ death toll could reach 10,000
November 10, 2013 10:12 pm

The death toll from a super typhoon that decimated entire towns in the Philippines could soar well over 10,000, authorities warned on Sunday, making it the country’s worst recorded natural disaster.

The horrifying estimates came as rescue workers appeared overwhelmed in their efforts to help countless survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), which sent tsunami-like waves and merciless winds rampaging across a huge chunk of the archipelago on Friday.

Police said they had deployed special forces to contain looters in Tacloban, the devastated provincial capital of Leyte, while the United States announced it had responded to a Philippine government appeal and would send military help.

“Tacloban is totally destroyed. Some people are losing their minds from hunger or from losing their families,” high school teacher Andrew Pomeda, 36, told Agence France-Presse, as he warned of the increasing desperation of survivors.

“People are becoming violent. They are looting business establishments, the malls, just to find food, rice and milk . . . I am afraid that in one week, people will be killing from hunger.”

Authorities were struggling to even understand the sheer magnitude of the disaster, let alone react to it, with the regional police chief for Leyte saying 10,000 people were believed to have died in that province alone.

“We had a meeting last night with the governor and, based on the government’s estimates, initially there are 10,000 casualties (dead). About 70 to 80 percent of the houses and structures along the typhoon’s path were destroyed,” Chief Superintendent Elmer Soria told reporters in Tacloban.

However, while Leyte was believed to have been the worst hit, the carnage extended across a 600-kilometer stretch of islands through the central Philippines.

A few dozen other deaths had been confirmed in some of these areas, but authorities admitted they were completely overwhelmed and many communities were still yet to be contacted.

“We’re still establishing command and control through logistics and communications,” military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala said.

He said among the communities yet to be contacted was Guiuan, a fishing town of about 40,000 people on Samar island that was the first to be hit after Yolanda swept in from the Pacific Ocean.

About 130 hundred kilometers to the west of Tacloban, the popular tourist islands of Malapascua appeared to be in ruins, according to aerial photographs, with people there unaccounted for so far.

“The coast guard commander cannot communicate with the area. They are cut off in communications and from power,” regional civil defense director Minda Morante said.


2,000 missing

In Samar, at least 300 people were confirmed killed while 2,000 others were declared missing.

Leo Dacaynos, a member of Samar’s disaster management council, told DZBB that the 300 people died in Basey, a small town on Samar.

He said almost 2,000 other people were missing in Basey and Barabot town.

This was the first confirmation of large-scale fatalities in the island of Samar.

However, vast areas of Samar, an island of over 733,000, still have not been contacted over two days after the typhoon struck.

Most of the deaths were caused by the storm surge which brought floods 20 feet deep in the two towns.

Basey and Barabot are coastal municipalities.

Dacaynos said Samar acting governor James Tan is focusing on relief aid in Basey.

He added that they are trying to contact Barabot which is still isolated
Daraynos appealed for food, water and other emergency supplies for the affected towns as stocks there are getting low.

An Australian man widely identified as a former priest who blew the whistle on child sex abuse in the Catholic Church is among the dead.

The Department of Foreign Affairs on Sunday said the 50-year-old New South Wales man had been killed, although it declined to confirm his identity.

But the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and other media said he was former priest Kevin Lee, who was removed from his parish responsibilities in Sydney last year after admitting to marrying a woman in secret.

Lee spoke out about abuse in the Catholic Church on an ABC program, Unholy Silence, last year. He was believed to be living in the Philippines with his Filipina wife and young baby.


Almost 10 million affected

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said the storm affected two million families or 9.53 million individuals.

Officials in the regions of Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western, Central and Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Caraga are still assessing the effects of the disaster.

Close to 100,000 families were staying at 1,790 evacuation centers and 36,627 others were staying at friends and relatives’ houses.

DSWD has extended an initial P10.6 million worth of relief assistance to Bicol, Western and Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga.

In Tacloban, the DSWD set up a satellite internet service at the city hall to enable people to communicate with their relatives.

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