The DSWD estimates that over 43 thousand homes were destroyed by the recent typhoons Unding, Winnie, and Yoyong. In response, the Ateneo de Manila spearheaded the formation of Task Force Noah, a multisectoral relief operation that brought together many parties from the Ateneo and Jesuit community, including the OSCI, ADSA, OSA, the Loyola Mountaineers, the Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral, and Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan. Task Force Noah made numerous trips to afflicted areas and gave aid to thousands of stricken families.
But after relief work, the more difficult work of healing and rehabilitation remains. The Ateneo has been at the forefront of bringing together various sectors to formulate an integrated and effective program that will address the long-term effects of the devastation.
The partnership is Kalinga Luzon, an ongoing rehabilitation effort that brings together the Ateneo de Manila, the DSWD, ABS-CBN, the Philippine National Red Cross, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), and CFC. Using GK infrastructure and programs, these partners have unified their relief efforts and together support the rebuilding of affected communities. A massive public and private campaign here in the Philippines and abroad supports the effort, and the group expects to grow as new partners join the cause.
KL hopes to build 40,000 homes for victims by the end of 2006.
The University has also taken the lead in the rehabilitation effort in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija, an apostolate area of Ateneo students for many years. Rehabilitation work for Gabaldon and for Dingalan, Aurora was launched on January 8, 2005.
Since then, over a hundred Ateneo students, faculty, administrators, staff, and alumni have worked with Gabaldon residents and Dumagats to build homes at the site. Ateneans have even brought their families, including young children, to participate in the construction. A group of students and faculty from the Loyola Schools who call themselves “Team Gabaldon” have been building at the site and living with the people of Gabaldon every summer weekend.
16 homes now stand on the site, and the university hopes to build a total of at least 50 homes before the rainy season begins.