Learning to Live:
Rebuilding a School in the Philippines
Through the night of November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the central islands of the Philippines, completely devastating many communities. One of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, the typhoon destroyed more than a million homes and killed more than 6,000 people.
In the immediate aftermath, Colliers International staff in the Philippines donated food, clothing and emergency supplies and spent time repackaging supplies for distribution at the government’s Central Relief Operations Center in Manila. At the same time, the Foundation established the Colliers Philippines Typhoon Fund as a vehicle for global staff to donate in support of a longer-term reconstruction.
In February of 2014, the Foundation identified the Curva Elementary School as a reconstruction project that desperately needed support. Sitting atop a hill in Medellin, northern Cebu, the Curva School serves 540 students. Six of the school’s 11 classrooms had been completely destroyed, and the others were unusable. Staff contributions to the Foundation were enough to fund the reconstruction of two classrooms. To help construct the remaining nine classrooms, Colliers teamed with project-management affiliate JPM, the Harvard Club of the Philippines, and clients Cognizant and The Results Company to fully fund the project through the Aboitiz Foundation.
In December of 2014, the first fully-fitted classrooms were ready for use. Students returned to their studies at the fully operational school, complete with a new library and supplies, in early June of 2015.