The most severe storm to hit the Philippines in 2021 was Super Typhoon Rai, known locally as Odette.

Making landfall in mid-December, it was the equivalent of a category 5 hurricane.

More than 1.7 million homes were damaged or destroyed, like Ginalyn’s. Read on to discover her story of recovery and see how ShelterBox supported her.

Devastation after Typhoon Rai in the Philippines
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Devastation after Typhoon Rai

“We were afraid”

When the storm came in, Ginalyn, her husband Ernesto and her four children Raynan, Donna, Jonmar and Janessa had to find shelter in a nearby cement house.

“We were afraid because the water was coming in. We were fourteen families who evacuated in that house. The roof sounded like a vehicle bumped into another one. Everyone was screaming, praying and scared.”

The next morning the skies looked bright, but all the trees and coconuts had blown away. “All the plants and my crops were gone. My chilli, spinach and other vegetables were gone.”

Ginalyn’s house was completely destroyed. “Everything was gone…the roof, walls everything. Nothing was left.”

Filippino woman uses hoe to prepare the ground for planting
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Ginalyn uses the tools ShelterBox provided to prepare her land for planting

ShelterBox’s response

From December 2021 and through the first four months of 2022, ShelterBox provided emergency shelter and other essential items to over 100,000 people – that’s more than 20,000 families or households.

Aid packages included tarpaulins, ropes, corrugated iron sheets and cash.

With aid stored in our Cebu warehouse, we were one of the first charities to respond. Local Rotary members were with us every step of the way, helping with logistics, transport and at distributions. We worked with local partners, the international response coordination teams, and even the Philippines Navy.

Filippino family stand proudly outside their emergency shelter after typhoon rai
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Ginalyn's family have made a beautiful home from the tools and materials provided

The road to recovery

Ginalyn and her family received a shelter kit, including tools, rope, nails and a solar light.

“My husband built a temporary shelter where we can sleep. We built it after receiving the tarpaulin. We used it as a roof. We are much better here, and we are glad that we have our own space. We all sleep here because it is more comfortable.”

“We use the hoe for farming, to loosen the soil and cultivate it.”

Looking ahead, Ginalyn explains: “We plan to rebuild our house and continue farming and planting our crops. We are very thankful for the materials that we received because without it we wouldn’t have a place to stay.”

“Many people tell us that our home is nice. There are a lot of people saying our home is nice. Some passersby would admire it. I’m happy – thank you very much.”

Support our work

As our global climate continues to change at an unprecendented rate, we are seeing more extreme storms like Typhoon Rai.

The need for shelter is greater than ever.

Will you help us reach the communities that urgently need support?