James Hardie helped Yolanda survivors to rebuild communities
June 19, 2015
With its mission providing building products to build better and more durable houses for Filipino families; James Hardie, the world leader in fiber cement technology, is likewise a responsible corporate partner of Filipinos in building a better, more durable future.
This was made manifest when James Hardie partnered with De La Salle Philippines (DLSP) to help rebuild schools in the Yolanda-ravaged areas of Leyte and Samar, providing safer and more weather-resistant classrooms for students in schools adopted by DLSP.
This remarkable collaboration saw James Hardie and DLSP conducting a basic carpentry workshop last January wherein survivors were taught how to rebuild classrooms and eventually make a living out of their newly acquired skills. This also gave them the knowledge to construct their own homes which were severely damaged by Yolanda.
The workshop, called “Rebuilding the Future,” drew enthusiastic participants who learned basic carpentry skills such as HardieFlex® ceilings and walls installation.
“The basic carpentry workshops were activities we felt passionate about,” says James Hardie Country Manager Mark Sergio, who believes that teaching the survivors how to be self-sufficient in rebuilding their communities will show them how to live without compromise.
“Aside from providing sturdier classrooms to the community, James Hardie and De La Salle Philippines thought that having carpentry workshops would help the survivors build livelihoods from the new skills they’ve acquired.” says DLSP President Br. Jose Mari Jimenez. “We want to help ease the painful memories caused by Yolanda.”
Jimenez also added that they chose communities that greatly need help and where members are eager to learn, willing to strive hard and be one in the rebuilding efforts.
“DLSP adopted these communities because they needed immediate assistance,” Sergio said. “We volunteered because we wanted to provide them with the right tools to start anew and help some community members find some purpose after an unfortunate experience.”
Response to the basic carpentry workshop was overwhelming. Even neighboring communities joined the workshop as they listened intently to the lectures and learned hands-on carpentry techniques.
“It is heartwarming to see how their confidence was restored by doing something functional and meaningful,” says Kgd. Corazon Canales. “Though it’s really difficult to restore everything, it is safe to say that this is a huge start for us.”
Christian Melanie Lee is a freelance social media manager and web developer. She also devoted her time managing her food blog, and music/concert blog. One of the Hootsuite Ambassador for the Philippines since 2014 and currently working as social media manager for the local band, The Itchyworms.
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