"WITH our new house, we are in a better state now than we were before," said Marissa Garrigo, one of the recipients of the houses built by VXI and Gawad Kalinga for Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) survivors.

Marissa's family was one of the 14 beneficiaries of VXI and Gawad Kalinga housing project in Barangay Poblacion 8, Lawaan, Eastern Samar, an area terribly hit by Yolanda in 2013.

VXI and Gawad Kalinga revisited them last month, October, to see how are they recovering from the calamity that changed their lives completely.

The residents of VXI Village were all smiles as they welcome the team who assisted not just in reconstructing their homes, but also in rebuilding their shattered hopes and spirits.

"These houses, built through bayanihan, will serve as a proof that this community can withstand whatever calamities that may come from hereafter, and a representation of VXI's strong and solid commitment in taking care of the community," said Jovie Llanes, vice president for Human Resources, as he headed VXI and Gawad Kalinga's team during their visit in the village.

VXI and Gawad Kalinga prepared a simple gathering filled with gifts and surprises for the community, making everyone feel the spirit of Christmas this early.

As for Marissa, she thought help would never come to their place until VXI and Gawad Kalinga commenced the housing project. A year after the houses were turned over to them, they can really say that recovering from Yolanda became easier compared to when they were still living in makeshift houses made of driftwood and broken roofs. It also made them go back easily to their usual day-to-day activities, free from the worries of being homeless.

"This project wouldn't be possible without the support of the whole VXI community, our partners from Gawad Kalinga, and the people residing here in Lawaan, Eastern Samar. This truly shows how passionate everyone is when it comes to helping other people without expecting anything in return," said Llanes. (PR)