Article by: Sarah Kim
When typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, myriads of schools and buildings were left completely destroyed and damaged by the furious winds and heavy rainfall. One such school is the Estancia Central Elementary School in Iloilo, which ISM has given a huge helping hand. Various ISM clubs and individuals have donated millions of pesos. The contribution has not only enabled the reconstruction of the leveled buildings and classrooms, but also helped fund new supplies and furniture. Last year, a team of compassionate ISM students planned to travel to Estancia to help the community. However, because of the typhoon warning during ICARE 2014, all of the provincial sites were cancelled, including the Estancia site.
Fortunately, new students and returnees will be travelling to Estancia this coming May! Senior Dong Yun Lee mentioned that for the upcoming trip, he is “most looking forward to seeing the vast improvements made by ISM’s donations towards the Roxas Elementary School”. He also added that their goal was to directly show how the donations from organizations, schools, and people were “used to impact and change lives”. ISM has definitely found success in the original plan- to rebuild three main buildings that host ten classrooms. However, Dong Yun also said that “the gymnasium that people in Roxas sheltered in, and the students played in are still in a dire state.”
On a different note, Mariel Guzman, who is attending the Estancia trip for the first time this coming May, is “most looking forward to meeting the children at the school because knowing about how much they’ve been through and all the conflicts that have come their way, [she] can’t wait to meet such strong and empowering kids”. She not that the most important part of the trip would be getting to know the children. As a new member of the team, her goal for the trip is to firstly “make the most out of the experience, making sure that the kids will enjoy [their] visit, as it’ll be first time going to Estancia”.
With this trip, along with our many other service trips, we indeed show that the ISM spirit is completely and wholly waterproof, protecting the hearts of the damaged community with our compassion for service. There is no doubt that the ISM team visiting Estancia will yet again help this community to further recover from the damaging effects of Typhoon Haiyan.