Heather is an 11-year old girl from the fishing village of Malusay Luyang, Guihulngan, who lost her entire house in the 6.9-magnitude earthquake that struck the island of Visaya in the Philippines on 6 February . She was living with her two younger siblings, 9-year old John Clifort and 7-year old Jamaica Shaan, and her parents. She recounts the devastating day when the disaster struck:
'The earthquake happened during lunch. I never got to eat as my lunch fell on the floor. Mum was at school and took my brother, sister and me and we ran to the hills as we were told there was going to be a tsunami. We slept in the hills that night and were all scared. Next day we returned to our village and discovered our house was totally destroyed. The following nights we stayed under a tarpaulin with 70 other people from our village.
'I was scared the earth would open up and swallow me and my family. There were aftershocks during the middle of the night and we all woke up terrified, praying for the shakes to stop.'
A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) has been distributing aid in Jimalalud, La Libertad and Guihulngan, areas in the southern province of Negros Oriental. Heather and her family are now living comfortably in a ShelterBox tent as they rebuild their home and their lives.
'Salamat (thank you)'
SRT member Rikke Jacobsen (DK) said: ' Heather kept on saying 'salamat' (thank you) to us for giving her and her family a new home. She danced around the tent and was so happy. Watching the smiles of the people we at ShelterBox have helped here makes me so thankful and proud to a part of the disaster relief charity.'
Rogelio is a farmer whose house was buried by a landslide near Salongon, where 42 people died. Before he was delivered a ShelterBox tent for him, his wife and children to live in, they had been sleeping without shelter and were unable to get food for several days.
'My wife and I were having lunch when the earthquake happened,' said Rogelio. 'The table fell down on my wife's lap and then we heard rumbling. I took my wife's hand and we ran away from the house as quickly as we could. When we finally stopped and looked back the whole house was gone. Luckily our kids were at school but we lost our life savings in seconds.'
'We are so incredibly thankful for the help we have received from ShelterBox. We want to say a big thank you to the donors across the world who paid for it as well as the SRT members who delivered it.'
The need for emergency shelter in Negros Oriental has been met with 69 tents distributed in total, bringing shelter, warmth and dignity to the disaster-affected families.
'This is by far the most challenging deployment I've ever been on logistically, physically, mentally and emotionally,' said SRT member Abner Tayco (PH). 'We have been hiking mountains and hills and crossing streams to find people who are in need of help. But as soon you see those smiles once they move into a ShelterBox tent we know ShelterBox has made a difference in their life.'
See the latest slideshow of photos from the deployment on ShelterBox's Flickr page here.