ARCHIE FROM THE PHILIPPINES
For most of Archie’s life, he lived with his parents and nine siblings in a one-roomed house beside the Plaridel River in the province of Bulacan, an area prone to flooding and typhoons. “Our roof had holes in it. So when it rained, it was like we were having a shower,” he said.
Archie experienced severe flooding three times, including September 2009’s Super Typhoon Ondoy. “After this typhoon, our house looked like it had been torn apart by a wild beast. Mud covered every wall and corner, the plywood walls were dismantled, the roof was gone and the posts were bent.”
In August 2012, an emergency resettlement program supported by Caritas Australia helped the family resettle into permanent and secure housing away from the flood prone river.
We are now confident and secure in the knowledge that we will not be devastated again by natural disaster.”
Through the program, Archie’s mum learnt to make bags and he learnt to make candles. But, as he left school halfway through his first year, what he’s most excited about is studying under Caritas Australia’s Alternative Learning System and increasing his future prospects. “Caritas Australia has changed our lives.”