From the Bournemouth UK Daily Echo, reprinted without permission but in the hope it will help!
These people are trying to help the Filipinos and are right in the middle of it, floating side by side with those they came to help. Let’s help them if we can, OK?
3:00pm Wednesday 15th August 2012
By Emma Joseph
FLOOD DRAMA: Residents try to salvage housing materials near a river after some of their
houses were destroyed by flood in suburban Montalban town, east of Manila, Philippines
PLIGHT: Jan and Derek Wyatt
A BOURNEMOUTH couple who gave up everything to help children in Filipino slums have been thrust into the middle of a natural disaster.
Jan and Derek Wyatt, pictured, quit their jobs and sold their home to move to Manila last month to set up a medical centre, pre-school, church and feeding project.
But shortly after their arrival they found themselves caught up in the massive flooding which has taken place in the last few days in the region.
The country has been declared a state of calamity due to typhoons and storms, with more than half the average rainfall for August falling in 24 hours and excessive high tides causing riverbanks to overflow.
Jan and Derek sent an email to friends and family to let them know they were safe, but are also appealing for children’s clothes and flip-flops to help those who have lost everything in the floods.
They said: “We have been affected by living this nightmare side by side with our neighbours as we helplessly watched the waters rise up along our street, enveloping one house after another up to six feet in places, and isolating our community on what had now become an island.
“Readying ourselves for the inevitable consumption by the rising water we moved everything up to the next floor only to be spared this with a feeling of great relief as the waters peaked at our door.”
Once the water had receded a little, Jan, a former nurse at Bournemouth Hospital’s surgical ward, and engineer Derek, distributed food supplies to people living down by the river, slum areas or camped along the roads who are now homeless or trying to rebuild their shelters and lives.
They added: “As we enter these communities and the people and children come to meet us with eagerness in their eyes, you cannot help but notice the piles of what look like garbage only to discover they are the remnants of someone’s possessions swept away by the water.”
Derek and Jan are now appealing for donations to enable them to buy food for the homeless and dinghies to help them reach isolated families, as well as clothes and flip-flops for children and young people of all ages.