Oguis Philippines Community Completed!

Written by Jessie Keillor on June 27, 2024

Our World Housing stories come from many different sources, and we get involved for many reasons. We take on projects that will make a difference directly with the families. We build homes to create lasting changes through providing shelter, education, and health.

The village of Oguis was introduced to us in 2022 through a group calling themselves the Super Seven out of Ontario, Canada, who wanted to help the families who lived in this disaster-affected region of the Philippines. One of their friends living in Ontario, Hermie Jamar was from Oguis. She shared the story of the devastation left behind after back-to-back typhoons hit the village in 2020, levelling many of the shanty-type, thatched siding huts. The destruction the sequential disasters left behind affected each person in the village, from the elderly to school-aged children.

The Super 7, (Hermie Jamar, Mac Voisin, Marcela Bahr, Joan and Peter Karstens, Karen Stewart, Al Orth) initially started small, gathering kitchen utensils and clothes to help them out when they started to see the need was much greater. The group led by Hermie, who had been an engineer in the Philippines before she came to Canada, persevered and sourced a way to get the village running water so they wouldn’t be walking miles for fresh drinking water. It was at this time that the Super 7 team understood there was a critical need for proper housing, and connected with World Housing. After review of the project scope the World Housing team ensured the Super 7 that they could help them reach their goal of rebuilding Oguis so that future climate disasters would not flatten them again.

The need for proper housing is essential for every community so that families can live with dignity, safety, and access to the resources that will change their lives forever. World Housing saw this need in the Oguis village and adopted the project from the Super Seven to build the homes.

“After meeting Sam and Don, we were able to ascertain that our values aligned closely with World Housing, and they would ensure everything that was done properly and above board with a local, boots-on-the-ground NGO partners we could trust.”

Mac Voisin, one of the Super 7 Group.  

World Housing stepped in to work with the local building team led by architect Aldrin Soriao. Homes in Oguis and the Philippines need to be able to withstand powerful typhoons year after year, so through our discussions with the local engineer, new 10’ x 20’ concrete homes were constructed with kitchen and living areas, washroom, and toilet on a septic system, with each home connected to the local electrical and water systems. With the resources and funding World Housing provided, 40 homes have been completed and solar streetlights installed throughout the village.

In addition a community center with a sports field was built where children from not only the Oguis village, but from the neighboring communities can come play sports. World Housing believes there are 3 pillars to truly sustainable social change that start with housing but must be supported with education and health. The Super 7 not only worked to help fund the housing initiatives but were also working with the local education system to provide scholarships and a remote program so the children of the village could complete university.

“We felt this program fit well with our mission, where we could provide the necessary safe housing for the families while the Super 7 Group focused on setting up educational scholarships and opportunities for the children of the families.” 

Sam White, World Housing Director, Operations & Partnerships

The community buildings were planned and built to support our pillars for sustainable change: nutrition, health, and education.  

The community phases in Oguis have now been completed, and we look to support the surrounding villages that are still in need of safe housing.

World Housing can’t do it without the support of our donors. Homes in the Philippines project cost $7,000. Every dollar of your donation will help build homes for families in need.