FIBER cement manufacturer and pioneer James Hardie in partnership with De La Salle Philippines (DLSP) have successfully turned over re-constructed schools in the Yolanda-ravaged areas of Leyte and Samar in time for the opening of classes.
Besides providing safer and more weather-resistant classrooms for students in schools adopted by DLSP, the collaboration also hosted a basic carpentry workshop where 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, dubbed “Rebuilding the Future,” drew enthusiastic participants who learned basic carpentry skills such using the company’s ceilings and walls installation.
“The basic carpentry workshops were activities we felt passionate about,” said 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,” added DLSP president Br. Jose Mari Jimenez. “We want to help ease the painful memories caused by Yolanda through this project.”
Jimenez further said 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 joined in. “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,” responded barangay councilor Corazon Canales. “Though it’s really difficult to restore everything, it is safe to say that this is a huge start for us.”