Confessions of a CEO: Hope for the hopeless

It has been one year since Typhoon Haiyan smashed into the Philippines. Compassion Australia CEO Tim Hanna reflects on the tragedy while sharing two things he is humbled by.

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This time last year we were given the news that thousands of children and their families were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. More than 6400 Compassion sponsored children were affected; some completely losing their homes.

There are two things that I have been reminded of since the typhoon. The first is the impact a church has on giving hope to the hopeless. One of our church partners in Capoocan, the Christian Church Fellowship International, saw their church building’s roof completely ripped off and walls torn down. All children registered with the church’s Compassion program were also personally affected. But rather than just focussing on rebuilding their church building, the church set to work on helping families rebuild their lives. Since Typhoon Haiyan, they have helped repair and rebuild sturdier homes for 142 sponsored children. And the support has been returned, with fathers of sponsored children helping to rebuild the church and child development centre.

The second thing I am reminded of is that often in difficult situations we see people rally together to help those in need. When Typhoon Haiyan hit, I was humbled by the generosity of our supporters. Together, we raised $679,000 to help with the provision of emergency food, clothing and shelter for affected children and their families. I saw this generosity again months later when $1.1 million was raised through Compassion’s Buildings for Kids Appeal, helping give children around the world, including those affected by Typhoon Haiyan, safe buildings to play, learn and live in.

While it will take time for churches, children and families to fully recover from this devastating event, dedicated supporters like you help show them that they’re not alone. Thank you for loving and caring for them.

Blessings,
Tim

Photos by Edwin Estioko


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