Super Typhoon Haiyan // Disaster Relief

Project Overview

Friends & Family of W4W,

I'd like to take this opportunity to officially announce that Waves For Water is mobilizing an urgent clean water disaster relief initiative in response to the Super Typhoon, Haiyan, currently decimating the Philippines. As we speak, the current CNN homepage headline reads - "THIS MAY BE EARTHS BIGGEST STORM" - and though this is quite a big dramatic claim, it no doubt confirms that it is of catastrophic proportions. While we don't respond to every single disaster that happens, it is a large part of what we do and the scale of this particular event is shaping up to be right inline with our organizational purpose and structure. Over the past four years we have worked on almost every major global disaster - Earthquake/Tsunami's in Indonesia, Haiti, Japan, and Chile. Mega-floods in Pakistan, India, and Brazil… and last but not least our comprehensive initiative in response to Super-Storm Sandy here in the U.S. Needless to say we feel quite equipped at this point to not only respond to these types of events, but do so quickly and efficiently.

At this point no one knows the full extent of the damage since the storm is still in effect as we speak. With sustained winds of 195 mph and gusts as strong as 235 mph, we're looking at the potential damage to be on par or greater than any of the mega-disasters we've seen before. To put things into perspective, Super-Storm Sandy had 90+ mph winds.

Much like many of the other disasters zones we've responded to, the Philippines is already in great need for a clean water program like ours. We work all throughout Indonesia, Africa, and South/Central America implementing long lasting programs that share the same day to day harsh conditions with the Philippines. Then when something like Super typhoon Haiyan unleashes on these, already underserved, regions the needs and conditions go from bad to catastrophic.

Our initial goal with any project like this is to help mitigate some of the immediate suffering by providing victims with access to safe water. Then as we have boots on the ground and start to establish our local networks we will implement long term programs that can be managed and built upon, locally. It is really no different than the work we have done (and continue to do) in Haiti for example - the first phase is urgent in nature and made up of multiple strategic strikes into the hardest hit areas of the disaster zone. These strikes entail us providing access to clean water by distributing portable water filtration systems to community centers, refugee camps, and individual families in these areas. Then the second phase, though still providing relief, consists of expanding the program by implementing more long term solutions - such as rain-water harvesting systems on schools and medical clinics, restoring dead wells/pumps, and actively seeking out new regions of need beyond ground zero.

My team and I are kicking this project off as early as next week with at least 200 clean water filtration systems; providing up to 20,000 typhoon victims with access to clean water, almost immediately. For this initial launch we have support from fellow disaster relief Org - ROWW (Reach Out World Wide), and Hurley H2O. Thanks to them we will be able to answer the call and help (at the very least) 20,000 people through this incredibly challenging time.

“We had the privilege of working with Waves For Water in the aftermath of the Chilean earthquake in 2010, joining forces again now is a natural fit. Simply put, we are two like-minded organizations coming together to make a greater impact.”

~ Lucas Wimer / ROWW / Director of Operations.

Our goal to get as many of these clean water filtration systems to ground zero as possible. This will all depend on the support that follows our initial launch this coming week. We have used these exact bucket filtration systems in almost ever corner of the world and the measurable impact they have is unparalleled. The main challenge with the global water crisis is not a question of technology, but rather a question of access… and ultimately, that is exactly what our program is designed to do - provide access.

As I said, this is a place that needs these types of programs anyway… so, in light of Typhoon Haiyan, I am challenging all of us to look at this event as a way to not only address an issue that is long overdue, but to simply do the right thing.

Any of your help and encouragement on is greatly appreciated…



Mar 02 - 2014Field Update // 10

alt text Two weeks before Typhoon Haiyan ravaged several islands, Bolho was the epicenter of a massive 7.2 earthquake. During our Phase 4 push in February, Jack, Jon and Carlo headed up a special mission to restock, and do advanced training, with our local front lines teams. These are the ones who have been working tirelessly since quake & storm to serve all of those who lost everything. We travel across the world, on planes, trucks, boats to do one thing: help the helpers. The best reward for us: getting to meet and work shoulder-to-shoulder with the most amazing, courageous, kick-ass team of locals - and, like our Hurricane Sandy partners, most are devoted surfers - never afraid to charge into 'harms way' . . .

Phases 1 through 3 brought 3,000 clean-water systems to the hardest hit regions of the islands most damaged by Typhoon Haiyan.

Phase 4 saw the training and distribution of 3,000 more clean-water systems to the islands of Pandanon, Northern Cebu, ilo-ilo, Bohol, Leyte and Siargao.

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As part of Phase 4, Jon and Jack, along with Carlo Delanter, implemented the Pandanon, Bohol & Leyte projects.

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Also, as final implementation of Phase 4, Carlo Delanter and team implemented our Siargao clean-water project.

Siargao Trip

"What struck me the deepest is that most of the people in the places we have worked in have been drinking unsafe drinking water. Although many locals have built immunities to some bacterias, they have reported common cases of infections and diseases from drinking the water, especially the children. With this realization in mind, setting out to places that need our clean-water systems the most was a priority, which led us to Siargao. Siargao is a beautiful place and also known around the world as a great surfing island, famous for Cloud 9. The “Doing what you love and helping along the way” motto shines through this island - and here is why. It all started out with a friend showing photos of continuous flooding in the island. We embarked to the northern town of Burgos to meet with Hope for the Island to train and demonstrate how the bucket filter works. Everyone reported cases of typhoid fever to diarrhea. Listening to all these stories is so common, that it became clear that the reality of someone sick from bad water is a common, everyday occurrence. The next day, we coursed our way through San Isidro where we met local leaders from different parts of town. Quickly grasping the impact of the filters, an impromptu meeting was held to determine where the greatest need was in this part of Siargao. Then we went straight to General Luna and met with our local contacts. Well water was only used for bathing but not for drinking, a clear sign of unsafe drinking water. Like all the other towns we visited, the locals are very aware of the importance of clean drinking water. A total of 300 filters & buckets were brought to the island. We plan to continue our efforts to bring access to clean drinking water to islands like Siargao and Pandanon, Bohol and Leyte, ilo-ilo and Cebu. Unsafe drinking water is clearly a severe issue, but it can be solved." - Carlo Delanter

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Below are 11 images from Tacloban on Leyte Island - these tell the ongoing story of Nataniel Benares and the University of Philippines Mountaineers ( UP Mountaineers). They are continuing to bring our clean-water systems to the front lines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. Here is Nataniel's personal update.

"My team and I are happy to distribute the filters and would like to thank Waves For Water for our partnership. I’m personally looking forward to more missions to bring clean waters to the communities. During our trip to Tacloban and Leyte, we targeted isolated public schools, communities, satellite clinics and Manobo tribe (local tribe). We brought 200 filters and served approximately 1000 or more kids and more than 400 families. We will bring more to Guian Samar and Bohol this month." Nataniel Benares, EMT

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Feb 11 - 2014Field Update // 9

alt text Jon and Jack had an awesome day yesterday where they traveled by traditional old Banca (Philippine fishing boat) to help an island called Pandanon. The island has a population of just about 2000 and has been completely overlooked by other relief efforts in the region. They brought two big 5000 liter tanks to store rainwater in - there only source of water is rain as the island is too small to tap into the water table. They also donated 50 filtration systems to be shared amongst the families. This is more than enough to provide access to clean water for everyone there.

These people truly are the forgotten ones. And unfortunately, there are many other small islands in the same predicament... But as long as we look at the recovery process in terms of years, and are willing to put in the time, we can (and will) reach everyone. alt text alt text alt text alt text alt text alt text alt text alt text alt text

Dec 25 - 2013Field Update // 8

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While in New York, preparing for our upcoming clean-water project for Sierra Leone, Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines. Immediately, Jon and I adjusted our plans, Jon will head to the Philippines and I will go to Africa.

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While Jon and the W4W team worked night and day at ground zero, I did the same in New York, receiving filter shipments via FedEx and sending them in duffel bags with our second and third teams: Greg Hahn, Christian Driggs and Chris Smith (front-line veterans from Hurricane Sandy).

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After our first three teams did amazing work establishing local distribution & training networks over several islands (updates 1 thru 7), I arrived from Africa to oversee next phase: restocking our front-line teams with more supplies, conducting advanced field trainings with them, and setting up a dozen new networks to reach areas previously unreached by humanitarian aid.

This phase included shipping filters and buckets between islands - via trucks, boats, planes. Carlo Delanter is our key partner, helping W4W relief efforts from the beginning - continuing to play a key role working with me every single day. We had the amazing energy of tireless foot solders - helping us bring thousands of clean-water systems to benefit hundreds of thousands of people. We brought much appreciated relief to many isolated island communities severely affected by the storm, but not covered by news media. This was accomplished by shipping supplies night and day - then flying to meet the goods and do trainings for our established, and new, teams leading distributions to extreme remote locations across many islands.

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Cesar Umali: a clean water courier from LA, is a good example of our Clean Water Couriers program. When the storm hit he called me in New York - I trained him over several phone conversations - He purchased 35 filters from our website - then flew to the Philippines and personally delivered and trained survivors in devastated areas - he had no idea how to go about this, yet he charged it anyway - meeting locals who joined his effort and helped him succeed. He literally brought safe water to thousands - to the forgotten ones. Along with Cesar, I worked with many other local teams, including the Philippines Army, helping us to bring safe water.

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Through the relentless work of a couple dozen networks, hundreds of thousands of typhoon survivors have received access to safe drinking water by Christmas - And, by design, the end result is always this: locals are helping each other. By air, boat, and truck - locals are helping locals get safe water - not just for a few days, but for five to ten years.

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Here are a few other ways that Waves For Water is involved in the Philippines.

In the city of Ilo Ilo, we have established advanced training and distribution of 400 clean-water systems via eight networks. alt text

At a benefit dinner in Bangkok, Mayan and friends raised $25,000 for Waves For Water Philippines relief. alt text

At Pandanon Island & school, we provided safe water to the entire population, over 2,000 people - where the children are the ones who really suffer the consequences of bad water. The only source of water on the island is from tropical rainstorms. W4W is doubling storage capacity for the entire island - adding more water tanks on school buildings. alt text alt text alt text

We also taught three search & rescue teams in Manila - who now are bringing our clean-water systems to some of the hardest hit regions.

Nathaniel Benares, with UPM - University Philippines Mountaineers - continues to bring safe water to extreme remote locations on several devastated islands. We also had Makati Search & Rescue team on front lines in Tacloban. alt text alt text alt text alt text

Chefs and athletes bring our clean-water systems to survivors in the hardest hit areas of islands bearing full brunt of typhoon - to entire populations that lost everything. We are working around the clock to make sure that everyone has access to safe water for the recovery and rebuilding process over the next few years. alt text

Ian Burgess bringing safe water to remote mountain tribes. alt text

Jacob and wife bringing safe water to remote mountain tribes - W4W will attend his photo exhibition in Manila in January. alt text

Our strategy has always been to ‘help the helpers’. In any natural disaster, the real first responders are the people who live there. Of course, they also wind up being the ‘last responders’.

On Christmas Day, just hours before heading to the Cebu airport for my return flight to California. I did my last training. Caleb Vegh traveled from Bali to do his part to help relieve suffering in Tacloban. The payoff for what we do is getting to meet, and work shoulder-to-shoulder with so many amazing people who just show up, work hard, endure traumatic conditions, never complain, and just keep going. alt text

My trip to Philippines, which began in New York, ended the day after Christmas in San Francisco. Jon and I, will return to the front lines on January 30, 2014. Throughout February, we will be restocking all the remote locations our local networks have been reaching. And we will return home with their images & stories to deliver our next installment of this amazing group effort. Over 3,000 clean-water systems have been delivered so far and 3,000 more will be in February.

  • Jack Rose, Philippines

Dec 13 - 2013Field Update // 7 Passing The Torch

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It's 3:30am but this time I'm not scrambling around my hotel room attempting to gather my things in order to catch the first ferry out before sunrise. I'm back on the east coast, wide wake and have been for hours. Jet lag hit me in full force so I'm taking advantage of the silence to give my last field update for a while. It has now been over a month since Typhoon Haiyan's wrath of destruction and about the same amount of time that the Waves For Water teams have been on the ground providing relief. The change that has occurred over this period of time has been dramatic. Most roads are now passable, much of the debris cleared as well as make-shift schools being built in some of the more affected areas. Even businesses are attempting to get back to some sort of normalcy.

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Witnessing this evolution has been a profound experience especially considering the amount of people Waves For Water Typhoon Haiyan Relief has been able to effect in such little time. So far our distribution efforts have canvassed the entire Visayas region from Letye to Palawan affecting close to 200,000 people, all thanks to our local networks and supporters at home. Unfortunately some estimates predict over 16 million people are suffering as a result of the super typhoon. So we have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us. Because of this, my departure has been a mixed bag of emotions, happy to be spending the holidays with my family and friends but torn about all of the work left undone that I'm leaving behind.

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Thankfully, Jack Rose is there taking over the reigns. Jack flew in the night before I left, so we spent the following day debriefing. Before my flight that night, we grabbed dinner where I told him I wasn't sure who was impacted more by this experience, myself or those who we were trying to help? He said, "In service, the first one served is the server" which were words once spoken by Sean Penn while in Haiti. For me, this hit the nail right on the head. Even though I was there to serve others, in reality I was the one being served. Thank you Philippines for all that you've taught me.

Christian Driggs

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Dec 04 - 2013Field Update // 6

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This has been a massive week in the Waves For Water Typhoon Haiyan Relief Initiative. Our distribution networks are incredible. Just in the past few days, we've hit Tacloban, Ormac and Bohol (the island which was the epicenter of the Oct 15th earthquake rocking the Philippines) - distributing over 650 filters, providing access to clean water for up to 65,000 people. The magnitude of such impact is hard to comprehend when delivered in pure numbers. The only feasible way to truly understand what this all means is to be on the ground, seeing what we see daily. Every day we meet with locals, listening to their stories of survival (pre, during and after) the typhoon.

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Prior to my deployment, I thought water meant everything to me. As a surfer, being in the water was my church, my drug, and playground - where I escaped from the daily stresses of life as I knew it. Nothing prepared me for the realization of what water really meant. How could I understand this? Regardless of the amount of traveling I've done and exposure to the less fortunate, I've always returned home. Being privileged and growing up in the states, access to water was a flip of the faucet, a false sense of security; but not here. Here it's a matter of life or death. The appreciation the Filipino people have shown us is the essence of what it truly means to love, consequently stirring up a lot of emotions for me personally. Deep levels of comprehension and realization are happening at a rapid pace. There's a saying, "eye's are the windows into the persons soul" and when looking into the eyes of these people - I see struggle and a life of uncertainties, which give me an overwhelming sense of guilt for what I take for granted.

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On the outside it may look like we are the ones providing aid but in reality, I feel like I'm the one receiving the most help from these incredible people. This experience is redefining my core on a daily basis and couldn't be more thankful for it!

More to come... Christian Driggs alt text alt text alt text

Dec 02 - 2013Field Update // 5

alt text Lesson is Patience:

As an American, immediacies are part of our DNA. Whatever you want, need or think you need, is always within arms reach. Here in the Philippines and many other countries, it's a difference story. You rarely get what you want rather settling for what's available. The evidence is constantly visible. Taxi carts and roadside stands for example are stitched together sometimes by rope, sometimes by old discarded tires but at the end of the day, they work. The people here are ingenious at making it work while simultaneously being cursed by it. Lack of proper materials is one of the driving forces why Tyhoon Haiyan has effected many of the population. Everything crumbled.

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Now, I'm the one whose patience is being put to the test. With our next batch of filters in transit, our current supply is running low and I want to be everywhere every minute of the day, striking constantly to those effected patiently waiting for relief but that just not possible. This place is a logistical nightmare, getting from A to B looks more like A to D to G to Z then maybe B by day's end. Roads are impassable, traffic like I've never seen before and making matters worse, the Philippines are made up of a shit ton of islands all affected by the storm. Yesterday, I flew to Iloilo (island of Panay) to meet with several groups. Arriving at the airport I knew I was going to get hassled. 100 plus filters, buckets, all crammed into a bag completely over weight. After a little sweet talking, a few flirtatious smiles, the attendant waived the additional fees. In her heart she knew why I was there. Landing in Iloilo, the plan was for three different groups to meet me at the airport, the problem, one of them didn't show. After reaching out on my cell, I was informed he lost power the night before, never getting the message from his organization whom I had communicated with. Making matters worse he was 2hrs away without a car. I switched gears, off loaded 30 filters to my contact from city of Antique, Edwin, and traveled with the others to their beautiful church (La Paz). The pastor was about a 1hour away and I could only hope that he'd be able to solidify a ride before I headed back to Cebu. Killing some time after my W4W demo, we decided to grab lunch. The Filipino culture makes it mandatory that guests are fed well and man did we eat. Stuffed and extremely nervous on timing as my flight was leaving in 2hrs, my phone rang. Mabini made it... He was outside. The pastor and I greeted him and we quickly got down to business. I felt terrible because he was so upset about the mishap repeatedly apologizing over and over. Time was ticking and I had to run to catch my flight but was able to give him the filters as promised and send him on his way.

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So my big lesson today, from the Filipino people... patience.

Nov 26 - 2013Field Update // 4

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"Not sure how many days I've been here now, everything seems to just blur together. Dates and times don't exist anymore; I'm just in full throttle mode. Yesterday was a heavy day for me… the plan was to access a remote village in the mountains of Northern Cebu where 300 families have been cut off from all necessities of life. We started out on what was scheduled to be a 3-hour trip each way by caravan when I quickly realized this was going to take longer. (Imagine commuting through Manhattan's Time Square the entire way north). Typically my tolerance for traffic is minimal, especially with my aptitude for motion sickness. But something inside of me instantly changed, maybe, it was my attitude. I know exactly why it takes hours to move inches, LOVE and everyone here has been bitten by the love-bug. The desire to help is palpable, you can feel it in the air. So, I sat in the backseat and just embraced my situation.After a several hours of driving the effects of Typhoon Haiyan became apparent. Tins roofs had been ripped off with such force pieces were vertically embedded into the ground. Palm trees laid on the ground like a life size game of pick up sticks. Roads lined with children holding signs saying "Food & Water - Please" made my heart sink. Diverting from the main highway, we began to climb a small access road that led us to the village deep in the mountains. House after house was completely destroyed from the sheer magnitude of the wind. Arriving at the top, the view was spectacular, the island of Leyte in the distance. In the foreground, a decrepit old basketball court with 300 families stood eager. Work started immediately, my local fixer, Vito Selma brought food and supplies from the Cebu Soup Kitchen. People organized into single file lines, men & women of the left, kids on the right. Everyone received, one sandwich, one egg, one soup and a bottle of water. The appreciation was instantaneous, hugs, smiles and laughter quickly became the common theme. The energy was high and the vibes were positive. alt text After everyone had eaten, we packed up and headed back down the mountain. We stopped about 3/4 of the way down, where I provided a seniors elder in the community a Waves For Water demo and distribution. He informed me that the entire community has to travel miles down the road to his place to fetch water and then hike it back up due to the well being located on his property. He wasn't a Barangay Captain just a concerned citizen. He mentioned how the Captain in the communities was hoarding aid supplies at the base of the mountain not sharing with his people and our filters were a blessing. The presence of an American spread and before I knew it, 50 plus children giggled as we discussed how to assemble and maintain the filters. He was a quick study. We thanked each other and loaded up the cars for the departure home stopping briefly to shoot a few photos with the kids. What a great day!" ~ Christian Driggs

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Nov 18 - 2013Field Update // 3

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It's been a long first week here in the Philippines… but we are making good progress in establishing local networks that we can implement our program through. I have always believed in the model of empowering/facilitating locals to help their own people rather than having us, a bunch of foreigners, deciding who gets what, when, where, and how. We aren't from here, we don't know the intricacies and nuances of this culture… so why should we show up and start dictating things…? I believe that our greatest role is to be a facilitator by providing new tools, along with the proper education/training, to address at least one of the many needs - access to clean water. In order for this model to be realized we have to spend real quality time on the ground - day in and day out - developing local relationships and really seeking out the biggest pockets of need. This has been our model since the beginning of W4W and remains the same today. I showed up in Haiti a couple days after the quake with 1000 filters and no real contacts… since then, with the help of many partners along the way, we've implemented almost 100k filters throughout the country. I really feel that there could be a similar potential here in the Philippines as well…

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We are on a good track here so far… we've done pilot sized distributions and trainings to 4 hard hit areas - Northern Cebu Island, Island of Panay, and Islands off of Northern Cebu. This is a great start and we will no doubt grow the program in these areas… as well as target some of the cities along West coast of Leyte next week through some contacts we have there. I think we are best suited to focus on the "forgotten" pockets, so to speak. The areas that have not been the focal point of major relief efforts… there are so many islands and so much widespread devastation amongst them that I think with our "local network" based model, lean infrastructure, and targeted focus we can make a huge impact for this entire region.

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I think the best point to get across at this juncture is how you all can help support us. We have a very different model than most organizations and I want to clarify how the program works. We do not need a fleet of revolving volunteers because our "train the trainer" local based model is all about teaching and facilitating locals to be the ones who will ultimately be doing the distribution and training of our water filtrations systems. We have a core crew from our W4W team here now, day in and day out, expanding the program by enlisting these local leaders in each region etc… So we won't be having traditional style volunteers come over to do the distributions etc as that is not the way our model works.

There are two main ways people can get involved:

  1. People can donate directly to the Haiyan project on our site. The money raised is going straight towards buying and transporting more filters over here to feed the local networks we have set up on the ground. In addition, people can create a personal fundraiser page on our site to crowd fund for this project through their social networks. It's important to note that the money raised through these fundraisers go towards the specific W4W project that the user selects when creating their fundraiser page. It is not a platform where the user gets the funds after the fundraiser is over. It is just a way for people to fundraise directly for our projects, but in a more personal way.

  2. For those people who want to get out into the field we have our version of a volunteer program called - Clean Water Couriers. It is not a traditional volunteer model, it is more of a DIY (do it yourself) model that is meant to be utilized by people who want to travel and have a give-back component to their trip. Waves For Water does not send people anywhere, it's more about each person creating their own travel experience; then crowd funding on our site to buy filters for their trip. W4W provides the platform and serves as a resource of information and knowledge around the filter systems; and how they may go about distributing once their on the ground… It's very simple and very guerrilla, by design…

In the case of Typhoon Haiyan relief, if people are keen to travel over here and help, they should do just that… but in terms of W4W, they would be on their own. We do feel our Clean Water Courier program is a great outlet for people because it gives them a real solution that they could implement during a trip here; one that has a very measurable and tangible impact. But I want to specify that the program is only a platform to give people the tools to go do it themselves… This is and has always been our philosophy - empowering people to take initiative, step outside their comfort zone, and create a unique experience for them themselves. We believe that everyone can be a humanitarian this way! That said, we realize that this model isn't for everybody and we apologize if they are looking for a more traditional structure to volunteer, but we are being authentic to our founding nature as adventurers. W4W was born out of our love for discovery, travel, and adventure… and so we want our "volunteer" model to stay inline with that by encouraging and empowering people in this way. If people are not up for getting out there on your own and creating this type of experience for themselves, then they can always fundraise to support our teams ongoing effort on the ground here - either way they are helping to get people access to clean water.

As always, we greatly appreciate the support that has come in so far, as it is truly making a difference for for so many Typhoon Haiyan victims.



Waves For Water will not be listing the specific locations where the water filtration programs are being implemented, for the protection of the towns and the citizens in that area. If you would like more information on the specific cities/villages we are working in please contact

Nov 17 - 2013Field Update // 2

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We did our first strike missions yesterday on Northern Cebu Island. We distributed 100 filters between the two towns. This many systems can produce enough clean water for up to 10,000 people in that region.

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We were led by our friends and JCI (Junior Chamber Int) who had great POC's in both towns. I will add that some of the villages up there are completely annihilated... Literally flattened, except for a few concrete structures. It is hard to even picture what the area looked like before this catastrophe. It's surreal looking at a landscape on nothing but stripped, snapped, or uprooted trees with no vegetation between.

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It looks almost like a Tim Burton movie set - eerie and still. I saw similar looking widespread damage in the Mentawai Islands after they had their big Tsunami in 2010. Imagine taking a lush jungle that you normally can't see 10 feet into and stripping everything away to just a skeleton forrest of bare tree trunks (the ones that managed not to snap) and now able to see for miles right through it. It really is surreal looking.

In efforts to divide and conquer, we were lucky enough to have Ian Zamora (currently living part time up North in LU with his girlfriend Carla Rowland) and his crew head out to Samar Island (one of the first places for Haiyan to make landfall) and distribute another 30 filters. He said that there is now finally some good support coming in there as a US military ship just arrived and is helping distribute greater quantities of aid.

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We are plugging away trying to set up another good strike mission for tomorrow to the West coast of Leyte - currently not receiving much help. We are developing our network here and making good new contacts each day. I think this project will play out well with this "strike mission" strategy we have been doing. There are so many islands and so much widespread damage amongst them, but I believe we can hit a lot of them quickly and efficiently this way. alt text alt text

The one big takeaway for me yesterday was the overwhelming influx of locals helping locals. We saw so many trucks made up of groups from the cities that weren't hit, donating their time to drive around and pass out relief supplies - food, water, clothing, etc. They were not organizations or traditional relief workers. Just good hearted citizens that wanted to help their fellow brothers and sisters in need. Honestly we saw no international aid groups at all, with the exception of MSF and the Israeli military/medics.

I have been so touched by the people of the Philippines... They are genuine, good natured people. It will be an incredibly long and hard road, but they will rebound from this... No doubt in my mind.

Big thanks to Carla Rowland, Ian Zamora, Zeb Stewart, and DJ Struntz for playing vital roles in the early coordination and execution of this project. And also BIG thanks to all the people who have donated.

More soon...

Thanks... Jon

Waves For Water will not be listing the specific locations where the water filtration programs are being implemented, for the protection of the towns and the citizens in that area. If you would like more information on the specific cities/villages we are working in please contact

Nov 14 - 2013Greetings from Cebu

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We spent the majority of the day procuring 300 buckets (for our filtration systems) and coordinating with all the local leads we had lined up. We are now locked and loaded; 300 systems ready to be distributed to the hardest hit disaster zones. I expected this project to be logistically challenging due to it being on an island chain but I have to say, thing are lining up rather nicely. Thanks to Carla Rowland, who has flown down to Cebu from her part-time home in northern Philippines to help us run logistics and planning, we have a damn good course of action lined up. Tomorrow we have been cleared for a C130 flight to Tacloban, an epicenter of Haiyan's wrath. We will be supplying the various distribution channels we've been in contact with out there, with a solution that will provide a continuous source of clean water as opposed to the one time use bottles that are currently being shipped out there. This will no doubt be a GameChanger for them. We have also been blessed with good natured and all around kick ass local fixer, Carlo - from Cebu chapter of the JCI (Junior Chamber Int) Org. He is proving to be an incredibly crucial asset. The good peeps at JCI also let us use their warehouse today to drill all our buckets and get the filter systems in order. It was also the scene of a massive collection/sorting/repackaging operation that JCI and Samaritans Purse are doing for the relief efforts.

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I've worked a number of disasters at this point in my life yet I'm still blown away at the true display of camaraderie amongst complete strangers. It's humanity at it's very finest.

That's it for now... Will most likely be out of contact for the next few days while working at ground zero, but will update you all when we return to Cebu. Thank you again to everyone who has donated and supported this effort. We have another person from our team flying in on Tuesday with another 400 filters (thanks to your support!) and we'll be bringing even more down the following week from the support that comes in thereafter. The goal is that we will set up our trusty local networks this first week and then just feed them more and more filters as the support comes in.

Thanks again... JR

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Waves For Water will not be listing the specific locations where the water filtration programs are being implemented, for the protection of the towns and the citizens in that area. If you would like more information on the specific cities/villages we are working in please contact

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Statistics & Progress

Destination Philippines

Funds Raised $207,705

Impact 160,000+