Leitrim woman helping to build homes following typhoon

Claire McGovern

Reporter:

Claire McGovern

Leitrim woman helping to build homes following typhoon

Rachel Bohan on site in the Philippines with fellow Habitat for Humanity Ireland volunteer, Aislinn Hayes.

Aughavas women, Rachel Bohan, recently travelled to the Philippines with Habitat for Humanity Ireland to help families rebuild homes destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan.
Typhoon Haiyan was one of the strongest storms in history. When it smashed into the Philippines in November 2013, it caused widespread destruction. Some 6,300 people were killed and more than one million homes were destroyed or damaged. Families and communities are still rebuilding their lives, and the reconstruction process is likely to take many years.
Rachel and her team spent two weeks helping families in the community of Bantayan Island to build their own earthquake- and disaster-resistant homes.


Before travelling to the Philippines, Rachel and her team worked hard to raise funds and awareness for Humanity for Humanity, a charity that builds and renovates homes in partnership with low-income families in 70 countries around the world.
After recently returning home, Rachel would like to thank everyone in Leitrim who supported her throughout the fundraising stage of her trip.
“Everyone on site had a wonderful and positive attitude. Everyone supported and encouraged each other. The term ‘power in numbers’ was evident every day. With a large group of volunteers, families completing ‘sweat equity’, and local builders on hand all working together, jobs were completed quickly. The rate of progress was incredible, and there are 50 more homes due to be completed next month, ending the long wait for families living in temporary accommodation.
“When the site is fully completed, it will be its own community with 300 homes, a religious centre, community gardens, and day-care and school facilities.
“While the work was sometimes tough in the hot conditions, it was extremely rewarding.
It was amazing to meet the families that had already moved into their homes. We got to hear their stories, what it was like in the aftermath of the typhoon, how they have tried to rebuild their lives, and their hopes for the future and the future of their children,” said team member Rachel.
“The team’s invaluable support offers families the opportunity to pull themselves out of devastation and rebuild their lives,” said Vinnie Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer at Habitat for Humanity Ireland.
Habitat for Humanity Ireland’s Overseas Volunteering programme is open to members of the Irish public.
No construction experience is necessary.
For more information, visit www.habitatireland.ie