It has been a month since the outreach program. Looking back, I am not sure if it is Divine Providence intervening or was it simply fated that the Outreach Program was scheduled on 8th March, four months after Typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines.
Four months after and the destruction is still evident. Amidst the crisis, people are smiling & have gone back to their normal lives of working or studying. When we bought lunch at Jollibee there was very long queue & it was packed with people. I feel that this is a good sign that people are trying to return to normalcy.
During the outreach we were overwhelmed as the number of kids participating in the games and giveaways were growing by the minute. We failed to do a good job of crowd control as the church volunteers also forgot to give away the pass to identify them as official participants. Also, the area where we were doing the program for the adults was just inside the church & both sides of the church were filled with kids. So the program for the adults was being disturbed by the kids.
Better crowd control, planning for extra packs for giveaways, look-see for the venue if the planned program will be able to be conducted in the venue, planning for the volunteers vs participants in order to have more quality interaction – these are just some the learnings that I will be taking back and which will help us when we plan and prepare for future outreach programs.
After the outreach, our host brought us out to buy souvenir shirts, eat the local barbecue by the roadside & to Leyte Park. That night we celebrated as normal Filipinos celebrate with beer, singing & dancing. Filipinos are very good in adapting to changes and the travel & outreach program to Tacloban City showed me first-hand how Filipinos have a resilient & indomitable spirit.
The only drawback is we have memory loss. We forget the last news when we have new & bigger news that is tackled in print, TV or radio. I hope we will not forget the lessons that Typhoon Yolanda gave us in order for us to prepare better & maybe prevent the massive loss of lives. I also hope that the temporary housing of the victims will be replaced by permanent structures that can withstand the strong winds especially as rainy season is only 2 months away.
To end this, I want to thank everyone who made this outreach a success. There are no words good enough to capture our gratitude for the support of our families, friends, colleagues and virtual friends who we have met through investing forums. Thank you for your generosity and may you continue to be blessed so you can be a blessing to others.
P.S. Our friends are organizing a little surprise for the students of Wawa Rizal on 17th May. We will be donating some amount as we have excess money from the fund raising for #BuligTacloban2014. Two causes for the year J Not bad since it’s only April. Till the next outreach program…
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
– Winston Churchill