Hawaii national guard to rebuild Philippines high school

Published On: Jun 12 2014 08:46:55 PM HST

Hundreds of students affected by Typhoon Haiyan are getting their high school rebuilt.

Gov. Neil Abercombie announced the mobilization of the Hawaii Army National Guard to the Philippines in June to continue recovery efforts.

Click here to watch Nana Ohkawa's report.

A shell of a building in Tacloban City is the location of Marasbaras National High School. It's one of the city's main schools. But, like so much of the surrounding area, it was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.

Since the typhoon disaster in November 2013, hundreds of students have been learning in makeshift classrooms under trees and in tents.

"In one tent children are all packed together, so how can you concentrate," said Roberto Bernardo, Acting Philippine Consul General.

Now there is some hope.

Abercrombie says Hawaii's national guard is mobilizing to fix the school's two heavily-damaged buildings.

"We are going to re-roof the things, probably put more iron into it to make it harden, redo their electrical system, put in new windows and flooring and some other things," said Maj. Gen. Darryll Wong, Hawaii Adjutant General.

Abercrombie says it's just a first step to an on-going process to make sure the youth in the community know they haven't been abandoned and forgotten.

"We believe by working on infrastructure on the school, that gives us an opportunity to have an ongoing relationship with those young people that will last more than the time it takes to put the building together," said Abercrombie.

"It means that Hawaii is there for us. The United States is there for us. They got our backs and they're supporting us in this time of need," said Bernardo.

Reconstruction begins at the end of June. The school is expected to be completed in September.

The estimated cost to rebuild the school is $1 million.

The project is funded by the federal government.


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