Having a disability, lack of tools or even a typhoon are not about to stop these young men! Typhoon Haiyan left devastation to IDEA’s dormitory for the Deaf in Ormoc City. The boy’s room suffered the worst damage with the roof blown off and bringing the electrical wiring along with it. IDEA brought in a team to put up the roof but couldn’t set any electrical because the electrical lines in Ormoc City and within the school were badly affected. The children in the dormitory have persevered these long months without any electricity, relying only on flashlights and solar power to be able to see at night (and to communicate with each other). Through partnership with CBM (Christian Blind Mission) renovations for the dormitory began in July. The first priority was to put back electrical wiring in the boy’s room. It was a blessing that one of the teachers for the deaf, Rodrigo Butad is a TESDA Certified NC II Licensed Electrician, and under his leadership and guidance he and two deaf students were able to set up 22 electrical units in the boy’s room. Jonald John Rebato from Ormoc City and Pelmar Doron from Maasin were his assistants. Butad shares that he chose the two of them because of their potential to be skilled electricians one day. Both students excel in their grade 9 class of Electrical Installation and Maintenance under Mr. Butad. Since they didn’t have a ladder they put the bunk beds on top of each other. In this way, they had room to use their tools and communicate
with each other. The staff could only laugh when they learned what they did, but were grateful for their ingenuity and willingness to do whatever it took to get things done.
Rebato shared that he helped by checking for short circuits using the voltage meter and aided in inserting wires into PVC pipes. He went on to say that there were times he was confused, but he wanted to learn and help. He dreams of becoming an electrician and hopes to buy his own tools. Now the boys inside the dormitory don’t need to grope in the dark. They are happy that they can see each other at night and now only hope for new electric fans to help keep the mosquitoes at bay. Darkness engulfed them and IDEA feared that it would be difficult to hire electricians due to the shortage of workers. But a midst the challenge, people in the IDEA and deaf family took up the challenge and offered themselves as tools to bring in the light.