I met Cecilia back in August 2010 while visiting several ICM Transform recipients in Barangay 40. As she emerged to greet us from behind a tattered cloth door, I couldn’t help but notice her unusual house. I learned as I made my way through the plastic tarp walls and rotting wood, that Cecilia’s home had burned down in December 2008. Since she didn’t have any money to rebuild and they didn’t receive help from government, her family collected material to construct a makeshift shanty. I asked her what happened when it rained. She told me that her entire family of five had to huddle under the tin roof to stay dry and that the floor turned into mud.
Six months later, in January 2011, a group of volunteers from Sydney’s Northridge Vineyard Christian Fellowship, joined ICM in Bacolod for a week long building trip. Two members of the team, Mike & Georgina, met Cecilia at her church on Sunday. When they later visited Cecilia in her home and saw its dilapidated condition, they knew they had to do something. With funding from the Northridge team and ICM’s help, they decided to give Cecilia and her family a new roof over their heads and a place to sleep out of the mud. They immediately got to work, tearing down the crudely built lean-to they had been living in for the past year+, laying an elevated floor, wall posts and crowning it all with a beautiful hole-free tin roof! For Cecilia and her family, this was a wonderful jump start on a home they never could have afforded themselves.
The original corrugated metal and plastic were then used to construct temporary walls, until Cecilia and her family can save the money needed for nipa walls. But for now they are have a new clean home, up off the ground, out of the mud. And best of all, they stay dry when it rains (which it does a lot in the Philippines). Cecilia and her family are very thankful for their new home and are extremely touched by the kindness shown to them by a group of strangers from Australia. Below are recent photos of Cecilia and her family outside their much improved, but still in progress home.