Samoa

Samoa: Tens of thousands helped after disaster

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High in the hills above Lotopue, Samoa a man named Malo Sefo holds his two-year-old daughter in his massive arms. Meanwhile volunteers build his family a temporary house. As they do, Sefo recounts how his wife and daughter almost died when the family's home was inundated with water when the tsunami pounded the island-nation in late September. Tears ooze from his eyes as he watches a Convoy of Hope representative install a 200-gallon water vat outside his new home.

"We are overwhelmed and so happy to receive this," he says tearfully. "It will not only help us, but also our village."

Convoy of Hope had assessment teams in Samoa only days after the tsunami struck. It also had teams on the ground in Indonesia and the Philippines where earthquakes and typhoons wreaked havoc on hundreds of thousands of people. The teams' goals were simple - meet immediate needs, assess long-term needs and give people hope that everything was going to be okay.

"Without the help of generous supporters we could not respond immediately and effectively to disasters such as the tsunami in Samoa and the typhoons in the Philippines," says Hal Donaldson, President of Convoy of Hope. "We are grateful, as are the tens of thousands of people we were able to help."