Typhoon Goni made landfall on November 1 and devastated a number of provinces, including locations where Compassion local partners work. Many sponsored children were forced flee to evacuation areas, but COVID-19 remained a threat. Houses made from light materials, common in the area, were significantly damaged or completely destroyed.
In one location, over 10 families sought shelter inside a church before the entire roof was ripped off by strong winds. Others had their homes submerged or washed away in the floods.
One sponsored child, Cyril, was unable to find her friend, later discovering they had passed away. “I have learned I should be grateful for every breath the Lord is giving me,” Cyril said. “We never know what will happen tomorrow. It is important that we are always prepared in life and always trusting God. It is also important to help others who are in need, like what our sponsors are doing for us. I am so grateful.”
Susan, a local Compassion project director, described the frightening power of the winds. "I believe the winds of Typhoon Goni were the strongest yet. It was so loud and scary I had to literally cover my ears.”
Five days later, many sponsored children still could not return home. Hundreds of houses were missing parts of their tin roofs, bamboo walls and coconut floors, while others lost everything. In some locations, floods did not subside for days, leading to health hazards. “That is one of our problems—stagnant floodwaters,” says Susan. “It could spread a variety of water-borne diseases.”
Compassion’s partnership facilitators and project directors worked together to ensure the sponsored children were cared for, especially those who remained in evacuation centres.