By David Tereshchuk*
February 23, 2016—February 2016 marks two years and three months since Super Typhoon Yolanda, the deadliest typhoon ever to hit the Philippines. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) celebrated two powerful achievements this month in hard-hit Leyte province.
Not only did UMCOR, working with local partners and communities, complete construction of 134 sturdy new homes for Leyte residents, it also completed its fifth public evacuation shelter, this one in the town of San Jose. The shelter was formally handed over to the community in a February 8 ceremony.
Like the other four shelters, the San Jose evacuation shelter will be ready for use to protect the local community whenever a serious typhoon or storm surge threatens the area. In the meanwhile, it also will serve as the town’s Central Elementary School and multipurpose hall.