Operation Reach Out
On November 8th, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan devastated much of the Philippines. The Peace Project’s Founder, Lisa Schultz, felt called to action and through an odd twist of chance was able to connect with and begin communications with the disaster response team on Bantayan Island, a resort island where nearly 60% of the homes had been destroyed.
A team, led by Architect Stephen Gardner, was quickly assembled and tasked with creating a small house that could be built in less than a day for around $1,000 in materials. The Peace Project then dropped into the Philippines, identified the community of Tabunok as an ideal partner and began collaborations to help them redesign their community. One year after Typhoon Haiyan blew through the Philippines, a three person Peace Project team along with the entire community of Tabunok finished building the final house in a community that had been re-planned to include pathways, gardens and gathering areas.
We also repaired dozens of homes, built communal restrooms and our first Peace Center where we trained nine community members in therapeutic massage — a skill that would help them earn more in an hour than many had been making in several days. The Tabunok community also realized a dream inspired in the midst of the devastation – the planting of organic vegetable gardens and the beginning of a cooperative to sell rice and other staples help to create change by putting money back into the community to provide a buffer for future emergencies.