Filipinos are breathing a sigh of relief after Typhoon Hagupit, known locally as Ruby, passed over their islands without causing major damage. Caritas has been giving out food and other emergency supplies.
Coming back to the school, ten months on, is an emotional experience. The transformation is remarkable. The tents have gone, and children are playing on the land, which is, I now realise, a basketball court.
While it doesn’t quite match the heroic images of aid work and emergency relief that is so often seen in the media, clearing debris is critical to the Caritas response in areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
With relief activities beginning to wind down in the Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan, the focus is now shifting on providing longer-term recovery support to build back their lives better and reduce reliance on emergency aid.
When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in November, ten-year-old Honeyrea was taking shelter in a gymnasium on Leyte island, along with her family and other members of the community. It was an experience she will never forget.