In November 2013, the town of Guiuan in the Philippines was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), a Category 5 storm that is the largest in recorded history. Practically every person, family and building was impacted by the typhoon.
“I have been the principal of the Ngolos Elementary School for 40 years,” said Principal Esperanza Esquierdo. “I have never seen such destruction. Our community and school were completely destroyed.”
Honeywell Hometown Solutions, in partnership with international relief agency Operation USA, quickly responded and mobilized relief efforts to rebuild the school. Within one year the school was back in session.
The new school, renamed Ngolos Honeywell Elementary School, offers more than 6,000 square feet, with capacity for 300 students and eight teachers in grades 1-6. It includes eight classrooms, an administrative office, boys and girls restrooms with running water (for the first time), a playground and a basketball court.
The project was made possible by 1,800 Honeywell employees and their generous donations to the Honeywell Humanitarian Relief Fund (HHRF), which provides direct support to employees and communities in need whenever natural disaster strikes. The fund creates a channel for 100 percent of employees’ donations to go directly to those who need help rebuilding their lives.
“Honeywell helps to rebuild the lives of our employees and the communities affected by natural disasters,” said Alex Pollack, President Honeywell Indonesia. “The Ngolos Honeywell Elementary School brings tremendous hope for the future of the students in this community.”
Designed to withstand winds up to 155 miles (250 kilometers) per hour, the Ngolos Honeywell Elementary School will now also serve as a disaster evacuation center for the residents of Ngolos Barangay.
“After Yolanda, I am amazed at how quickly my children got back to school. Education is so important for us and our children,” said Violeta Eglupas, mother of three of the students. “We thank all Honeywell employees from the bottom of our hearts.”