Stories from the Field: Reyn Ambag

UNICEF and Action Against Hunger Philippines are providing life-saving WASH support for affected families in Caraga region.

Action Against Hunger Philippines
Reyn stands near the shore of Baybay, Burgos in Siargao.
Action Against Hunger Philippines/Benjie Montilla
07 April 2022

12-year old Reyn Ambag is a grade 7 student residing in Barangay Baybay, Burgos in the island of Siargao. He goes to school in San Isidro National High School which is located in the Municipality of San Isidro.

With Values Education as his favorite subject in school, Reyn has a knack for helping others. After observing the delays in restoring the electricity in their community, he now wants to pursue a related job in the future. “I want to be an electrician someday so that if a power outage would happen because of a typhoon, I would be able to help in restoring it,” said Reyn.

“I want to be an electrician someday so that if a power outage would happen because of a typhoon, I would be able to help in restoring it.”

Reyn, 12
 Action Against Hunger staff interviews Reyn in his home.
Action Against Hunger Philippines/Benjie Montilla
Action Against Hunger staff interviews Reyn in his home.

As Reyn is particularly skilled in doing somersaults, a normal day for him is playing with his cousin on the beach while practicing simple acrobatics.

Reyn is raised by his mother who is a single parent. Aside from his mother, his cousin has also been living with them to help out in the absence of Reyn’s father. Reyn’s mother provides from all three of them. She is able to support their daily needs and Reyn’s schooling by the income she gets from their small retail (sari-sari) store.

Reyn sitting inside their damaged house.
Action Against Hunger Philippines/Benjie Montilla
Reyn sitting inside their damaged house.

In the wake of Typhoon Odette’s impact, their family stayed inside the comfort room of the school where they evacuated to. There, he had witnessed through the window how the strong winds of the typhoon had ravaged their area. They stayed there until the storm subsided and it was safe for them to go out. Upon returning to their home, they were devastated to find that their house was damaged due to the fallen coconut trees.

With the support of UNICEF and UN CERF, Reyn’s family was one of the 221 households in Barangay Baybay that received emergency water, sanitation, and hygiene support last February 4, 2022.

Reyn sitting inside their damaged house. Above him is a temporary tarpaulin cover to serve as their roof while they have yet to repair the damage.
Action Against Hunger Philippines/Benjie Montilla
Reyn sitting inside their damaged house. Above him is a temporary tarpaulin cover to serve as their roof while they have yet to repair the damage.

The Super Typhoon Odette Emergency WASH Response in Caraga is implemented by Action Against Hunger with funding from the United Nations Central Emergency Fund (UN CERF) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Philippines. ###