June 05, 2024 | Disaster Response

Typhoon damages homes of families in the Philippines

Assistance helps sponsored individuals and their families with immediate needs and long-term recovery

By Loretta Shea Kline

Unbound will help 197 families rebuild or repair homes destroyed or damaged after Typhoon Ewiniar, the first to hit the Philippines this year, blew through the country in late May.

The help comes in the form of cash assistance as families replace damaged roofs, repair walls and kitchens, and in some cases rebuild entire homes destroyed by high winds, floodwaters, and toppled trees and utility poles.

“There are homes and income-generating businesses of our sponsored families that have been severely impacted by this typhoon,” Tristan John Cabrera, regional reporter for Unbound in the Philippines, said. “Our Unbound team in Manila … is already processing the immediate assistance to be given to each sponsored family.”

The families live in the Quezon province on the main island of Luzon, in an area served by Unbound’s Manila program. Families were able to withdraw funds from their Unbound sponsorship savings accounts to cover needs such as food, water and clothing. The Manila program also disbursed emergency funds to aid families in the storm’s immediate aftermath.


The roof, walls and other parts of sponsored youth Christine’s family home in the Philippines were severely damaged by Typhoon Ewiniar, the first tropical cyclone to hit the country this year. The Philippines experiences an average of 20 tropical cyclones a year.

Funds to help families rebuild and recover

Additional funds and emergency relief provided through the Manila program’s calamity fund and Unbound’s Critical Needs Fund will help families with home repairs and the loss of houses, crops and small businesses. Families will also need to replace personal belongings, household equipment, furnishings, school materials and other items.

Crops affected included squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, strings beans and others that were the primary sources of income for farming families. The Manila team will coordinate with the municipal government and agriculture department on any assistance those entities can give vegetable farmers.

In addition to impacts to homes, crops and businesses, floodwaters caused damage to files, computers and other equipment at a local Unbound office.

Typhoon Ewiniar, known locally as Aghon, lingered over the Philippine islands for several days before exiting the country May 29. It left at least seven people dead, mainly from floods or fallen trees.

There were no reported casualties, serious injuries or missing people among Unbound families or staff.


The family home of sponsored youth Maria Teresa sustained severe damage in Typhoon Ewiniar. Assistance from the Manila program’s calamity fund and Unbound’s Critical Needs Fund will help families like Maria Teresa’s recover.

Typhoon disrupts life for tens of thousands

Philstar.com reported that, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, more than 51,000 people were affected by Ewiniar, which was the first tropical cyclone to enter the Philippines this year. The storm disrupted transportation and communications across a wide area.

When Ewiniar hit Unbound communities, it packed sustained winds of 75 mph and gusts of 93 mph, Cabrera said.

“We are praying for the fast recovery of all the affected Filipinos in the Visayas and Luzon regions,” Cabrera said. “God is with us!”

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said that more tropical cyclones enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) than anywhere else in the world, with an average of 20 per year. The peak of the typhoon season is July through October.

Unbound assists families impacted by disasters through the Critical Needs Fund. The fund was nearly depleted after recent flooding in Kenya impacted more than 1,700 individuals and families served by Unbound.

What you can do to help families affected by disasters

  • • Make sure your contact information is current. In times of natural disaster, Unbound notifies sponsors personally if we learn that their sponsored friends have been injured or otherwise seriously impacted, so keeping your information updated is important.

  • • Pray. The Unbound community holds all those affected and those assisting with relief efforts in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Donate to the Critical Needs Fund. The fund assists families in the aftermath of events such as floods, severe storms, earthquakes and fires.

Regional reporter Tristan John Cabrera and Unbound Manila staff contributed information and photos for this story.