Thanks to your incredible support we’re continuing to help Filipino communities prepare for disaster

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Over the last few months our focus has returned to completing the Banaba Livelihood and Evacuation centre, just outside Manila.

 

The building’s original donor ran out of funds before construction was finished, and so for much of the last year we’ve been working hard to finish the job. This is to ensure that local residents have a place to shelter during typhoons, and also so that the building can be used for important community development projects at other times.

 

For example, in a project report last August we described how we’d been able to complete the external rendering on all but one of the buildings sides.

 

Well, we’re delighted to report that the final side of the building has now also been rendered as well. This rendering is important to protect the building’s walls from the torrential downpours which batter the building during the annual rainy season. And completion of this work marks yet another milestone which has only been possible to reach thanks to you!

 

But our most recent round of work didn’t stop there. With the external rendering now finally complete we’ve been able to turn our attention to the interior as well.

 

And the first internal job needing attention was the building’s three floors.

 

While the main concrete slabs were laid during the original construction process these were also left unfinished. The original plan was for the floors to be tiled, but with the original donor’s funding in short supply this job was sadly never done. As a result the building was left with uneven, dusty floors, which presented a trip hazard, and also meant that the centre was very hard to clean as well.

 

Given that proper sanitation is vital during evacuations, and also because the building is used by young and old alike at other times, we knew that this was an issue that needed resolving.

 

So, we also recently used your generous donations to lay a final “screed coat” of concrete throughout the building. And to add a touch of welcoming brightness, this screed coat was also coloured as well.

 

As a result the building’s interior has now been transformed and we asked some of it’s users to describe the impacts.

 

Firstly, Francia had this to say:

“Our floors are now in good order and neat. The floors are easy to clean-up because there is less dust. The children who run around are now free from skids, and accidental falls due the uneven pavement of the floors before. The floors are neat to behold. Thank you!”

 

Tess, another of the local residents, had this to say:

“The uneven surface of floors before gave us difficulties to clean, but now it’s much easier to clean the the new floors, because there are no more cement dusts sticking on them. The cleaning time for the floor is now much less, so we can devote additional work time to other tasks in the centre, like the garden, the chickens, and composting”

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Finally, Pablo also sent his thanks:

“In the old days, our feet [were] enveloped with the white dust from the unpaved, unrendered floors. When walking around, dust gathered on the soles of our slippers, our feet, and up to our lower extremities. We experience itchiness from the cement. But now because I see everyday the rendered, smooth and colored surface, I always take the initiative to mop the floor - I like to see the floor in a neat condition especially when there are guests coming. Thank you for helping us”.

We want to reiterate the thanks from Francia, Tess and Pablo. And we also want to emphasise just how vital your generosity continues to be for this project. Some donors might be a little put off supporting a project started by someone else, perhaps because they don’t feel quite as much ownership over the end result.

 

But completing the centre is vital for both the safety and long-term development of the local community, and you’ve stepped up to help with this vital task. Thank you so much.

 

Moving forward there’s more work yet to be done on the interior, and the building also needs equipping with things like bunk beds too. So, we’ll keep fundraising right here on GlobalGiving, and we’ll also keep you posted as the work continues.

 

As always, if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.

 

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