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Cuddling her 3-month-old son Prince Aron, Ailene Almasco, 30, a mother of three of Barangay Capuluan Tulon Village, Guinayangan, Quezon Province in the Philippines smiles as she receives the wage of her husband Ramilo Almasco, 39, the first of the seven days cash for work program done in partnership with JDC, the leading global Jewish humanitarian organization. The Almasco family are just one of the 260 families living at Capuluan Tulon, an agricultural barangay in the outskirts of the town, whose livelihood were greatly damaged by severe tropical storm Kammuri locally known as typhoon Tisoy who made landfall in the early dawn of December 2, 2019.

Through the prodding of the municipal government, the Almasco family left their home and evacuated to the Village Hall before the storm. The hall is believed by many to withstand strong winds and torrential rains brought about by Tisoy. The municipal government evacuated a total of 1,554 families either to barangay halls, schools, and other strong structures. True enough, the barangay hall was sturdy, but the house of the Almasco’s was among those 408 houses damaged. Salvaging scrap materials that can still be of use, the couple began rebuilding what remained from their makeshift hut in the aftermath of the typhoon while gathering some plants around for food and relying on short-lived relief goods.

“The cash for work is a great blessing for us, with this,” referring to the cash on her hand, in fact, it was the first cash income of the family after the typhoon, “we will have meat, rice, bread and drinks for our family a merry Christmas indeed,” says Ailene, her eyes beaming. Beneficiaries cleared typhoon debris. IIRR started the cash for work program on December 24 in time for those victims who have no means to celebrate on Christmas eve. This early recovery project is made possible through JDC’s enabling support to spread the blessings to those who have less materials in life but with so much hope. “With the cash for work, we will also have for the new year’s celebration, a good start for 2020”, continued Ailene with a grin. Ailene is just one of the 250 families that will receive cash for work, while others will receive banana planting materials together with roots and tubers crops and fertilizers.