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Truro based builders help typhoon hit school in the Philippines

By CGMikeS  |  Posted: March 05, 2014

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A TEAM of builders from Truro worked in sweltering temperatures to repair the roof of a school in the Philippines - which was torn apart in the super typhoon that struck the region last year.

Up to 10,000 people died when Typhoon Haiyan struck the region in November, while millions more were forced out of their homes.

Four months on, four thousand schools in the country’s towns and villages are still in desperate need of repair.

Truro based builders Michael Chegwidden, Owen Jose, John Fisher and Stephen Harris volunteered for Cornish charity Byond after spotting the organisation’s “Raise The Roof” campaign to help communities rebuild vital school buildings.

The group, carrying tools and equipment ranging from rechargeable drills to a 1940’s spirit lamp to brew up cups of tea, travelled to Naungan, a village on the edge of the city of Ormoc.

Some roofs at the school had been ripped off by the strong winds, while others were damaged by falling trees and electrical pylons.

In the immediate aftermath of the super typhoon volunteers for Byond spent several weeks clearing fallen trees and repairing classrooms, although a number still had tarpaulins for cover and required structural repairs and new corrugated iron sheets.

The latest team worked in temperatures of up to 38C and became firm favourites with the primary school children in the process.

Owen Jose said: “Working at Naungan was a real eye-opener. After everything these children have been through they were still smiling – we could learn so much from them.

“We are happy to have been part of the Byond team and to have helped these children gain back a sense of normality. We would love to return in the future and look forward to doing so.”

*To read more about the work of Byond and the “Raise The Roof” campaign, visit www.byond.org.

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