On February 24, Tzu Chi Foundation distributed Jing Si multipurpose foldable beds to the families displaced by the 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Kananga, Leyte. A total of 76 families in Barangay Hiloctogan and115 families in Barangay Rizal benefitted from the distributions.
The bed distribution is a granted wish of the children from the mountainsides who grew up sleeping on the floor.
Jamesboy Otadoy, 13, and his three younger siblings are giggling as they roll around the Jing Si multipurpose foldable bed for the first time. Since they were born, the children have been sleeping on the floor with a few cartons, plywood, and blankets to keep them warm.
“We just put together a sleeping mat and a blanket. You see in the province, particularly in the mountains, we really just sleep on the floor,” shares Jamesboy’s mother, Liza, 38. “We wanted so much to have a decent bed. Whenever my children visit our relatives, they would see beds and they would ask me to buy one. I would tell them, let’s just make do with what we have.”
The kids finally got their wish on February 24 when Tzu Chi Foundation distributed foldable beds for the families living at the Great Love Villages in Barangay Rizal and Barangay Hiloctogan in the municipality of Kananga. The Great Love Villages are Tzu Chi Foundation’s temporary housing communities for the families displaced by the 6.5-magnitude earthquake that struck central Leyte in July 2017.
Tzu Chi volunteers paid several visits to the community in the last few months and noticed that most of the families had no beds and are sleeping on cold, hard floor.
Learning about this, they arranged to give out foldable beds for each family. The bed is a disaster innovation by Tzu Chi founder Dharma Master Cheng Yen. It was developed out of the need to provide dignified sleeping platform for disaster victims in evacuation areas. Because of its collapsible nature, it can be used either as bed or a bench. Made of food-grade plastic, it is safe for children’s skin.
“I want to thank Tzu Chi for giving us a bed. The bed is wonderful. We won’t be sleeping on floors now,” Jamesboy happily says.
The foldable beds came just in time for 64-year-old Alfreda Lafuerta. The makeshift bamboo bed which she has been sleeping on since the earthquake is slowly disintegrating. Soon, she will no longer be able to use it.
“I will be the one who will use this permanently. My grandchildren will use the other bed that is still in good condition. I am very thankful that they gave us this bed,” Alfreda says.
The bed distributions benefitted 76 families in Barangay Hiloctogan while 115 families were given in Barangay Rizal. Tzu Chi conducted home visits a day before the distribution to gather data about the families. This made it possible for Tzu Chi to modify the number of beds to be given to each family according to their need. During the bed distribution, families with three and less members received one unit, while families with four and more members received two units.
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