UPDATE 11/13/2013

While western aid focuses on Tacloban and neighboring areas due to the presence of foreign media correspondents in those areas, we are getting reports from various other places that were also hard hit and not covered by the media. Here is an email of distress we received from one local pastor:

The whole world knows what happened to our country especially in Visayas area.  Super typhoon hits our country last week & totally devastated (100%) Leyte, Tacloban & some neighboring towns & provinces. And Foreign aids focused in these areas.  However, my province Iloilo, especially southern parts such us Banate, Barotac Veijo, Ajuy & going up was 90% destroyed! Last Friday, my local Church extend small amount of help to our church members who are partially damaged living sea side.  As of now, I am not feeling well.  Yesterday we went to the southern parts of Iloilo province and we see how terrible the damaged. In fact, there is one Island was 100% destroyed.

More emails like this are coming in now, and we have local believers there ready for action as soon as funding comes in.

In the hardest hit areas around Tacloban in Leyte, there are a lot of supplies and people waiting to get access to the area. But this may take some time for the military to restore the infrastructure so that planes and trucks can get in. Once refugee camps, medical dispensaries, and feeding operations are setup, we will have people in place to work long-term in helping these people rebuild their lives. Please contribute what you can through our partner organization Christian Aid.

Helping Traditions to Offer Relief to Typhoon Victims

by Brian and Marianita Shilhavy

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda hit the Philippines on November 8, 2013. It is possibly the strongest recorded storm to ever hit land, with winds reaching over 200 mph. Details are still coming in at the time of this writing, but it is feared that thousands are dead and hundreds of thousands are homeless. We will provide regular updates on the Healthy Traditions website.

As we have done with previous disaster relief projects, such as the Tsunami that hit  Banda Aceh in Indonesia in 2004, or previous typhoons to hit the Philippines, Helping Traditions is partnering with Christian Aid to send relief funds to native believers in the Philippines who have existing ministries in the areas hardest hit.

Unlike western aid organizations, Helping Traditions and Christian Aid only work with local Filipinos – no funds will go to Americans or other foreigners, and neither Helping Traditions nor Christian Aid keeps any portion of the donation for administrative purposes. 100% of the funds given will go directly to relief. Emergency aid first, and later for rebuilding.

Our people on the ground in the Philippines are working now to secure healthy, nutrient dense local foods to supply to the needy areas. Western food is not used at all. We are immediately concentrating on supplying the following food items: coconut oil, coconut water, rice, and local sardines. It is very important that sick and injured people get nutritious food as fast as possible. During the 2004/2005 Tsunami tragedy in Indonesia, some people survived for days and even weeks by simply eating coconuts that had fallen to the ground during the storm. Coconut oil has anti-microbial properties to fight off disease and strengthen the immune system.

To give to this project and receive a tax deductible receipt, please give through the Christian Aid Philippine Typhoon Alert page here. Our folks on the ground will continue to work long after western aid has dried up, and this terrible tragedy is no longer in the news, as it will take months, and even years, to rebuild people’s lives.

Video footage of typhoon aftermath
Graphic film footage from local Philippine TV news program.

Make a contribution to the Philippine Typhoon Emergency fund here.

About the author: Unlike many people who write about coconut oil by simply reading about it, Brian Shilhavy actually lived in a coconut producing area of the Philippines for several years with his family, observing firsthand the differences between the diet and health of the younger generation and those of his wife’s parents’ generation still consuming a traditional diet. This led to years of studying Philippine nutrition and dietary patterns first hand while living in a rural farming community in the Philippines. Brian is the author of the best-selling book: Virgin Coconut Oil: How it has changed people’s lives and how it can change yours!

Includes 85 recipes – Free shipping available!

Read the Virgin Coconut Oil Book on Your Mobile Device!