Typhoon Bopha hit the Philippines in December 2012. Catholic Relief Services worked to address the most vulnerable Filipinos' immediate needs. Then CRS empowered residents to rebuild their community and make it even better than it was before.
“This is a good house, and a community full of good people who waited for their own homes because they believed our family needed a dry place the most.”
- Annaliza Leban, who gave birth to triplets just days before her home was destroyed by Typhoon Bopha.Watch the video
The Lebans’ Story
Annaliza and Danilo Leban live in Baganga, a coastal town on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. In December 2012 they were in a hospital several hours away from home, waiting for Annaliza to give birth to triplets. Meanwhile, a major typhoon struck Baganga.
The Lebans were relieved to hear that their five older children made it safely though the storm. But when they returned they found their home and the whole town destroyed. Danilo built a shelter from what was left of their home, but it could not protect the family from the heat, rain and mosquitoes. The newborn babies grew sick.Then CRS and its partners arrived to help. The townspeople held a meeting with CRS to plan how they would rebuild their town and to vote on which family should receive the first new house. All of the homes in Baganga had been destroyed, but every person in the meeting voted that Annaliza and Danilo should receive the first new house.
“This is a good house,” said Annaliza, “and a community full of good people who waited for their own homes because they believed our family needed a dry place the most.”
CRS hired Danilo and other community members to build the new houses and to clear rubble from farm land so the fields can be replanted. Danilo is proud to help the neighbors who were so generous to his family.