The Church of Latter-day Saints have provided homeless families in typhoon-affected areas in Central Visayas construction materials and tools and teaching them skills to put up their homes, a senior church official said.
Presiding Bishop Gary Stevenson said the families have built about 1,000 units and expect to finish their 3,000 target in May under the principle of self-reliance in which the Church donate the materials and tools, but the recipients provide the labor.
“To learn skills in building shelters, many were trained on carpentry and basic construction work under the tutelage of master carpenters,” Stevenson said. “Recipients are required to build their own home as well as nine other shelters.”
Recipients will keep the tools and a certification on carpentry proficiency at the end of their training. They gained a home, they learned a skill and a livelihood because of enormous need for services of carpenters in areas stricken by typhoon Yolanda.
The church brought 10 master carpenters to assist in training recipients. Church officials estimate that about 250,000 carpenters were needed in Tacloban City and nearby areas.
Stevenson, who is Presiding Bishop for the Church worldwide, said he was impressed by the remarkable spirit of the people of Tacloban and “we’re seeing both the principles of welfare, which is caring for the poor and needy, but we’re also seeing the principle of self-reliance in action, and it’s astounding.”
“It’s an example for the members of the Church everywhere in the world to see their beautiful faces with smiles and faith and hope. We can learn from all this. They have a spirit that is just remarkable,” Stevenson said.