I received an angel from the children of St:a Gertruds skola in Sigtuna.
When the Visayas, particularly Samar and Leyte, in the Philippines were devastated by super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda in the Philippines), the Swedish radio channels, SR P4 and SR Ekot, as well as the TV channels SVT 1 and TV4 interviewed me for information on what was happening in the islands and what Filipinos were talking about in social media. Later Sigtunabygden wrote about my involvement in the media. Meantime, our flagship Upsala Nya Tidning let me write a follow-up article and column during my visit in Tacloban.
It was at this point that a teacher from St:a Gertruds skola contacted me and expressed her pupils’ desire to help Filipino kids directly. So I introduced my friend Tito Aure, a professor in Tacloban, who had been affected by the typhoon and who actively helped typhoon victims.
The schoolkids in Sigtuna sold “angels” to raise funds.
The angel form is actually a copy of an archeological find dating back 11th century, during the viking period. It is a falcon symbol, but turned upside down it looks like an angel. One of the students’ father is a craftsman and formed copies in steel.
The money raised was sent to my friend, Professor Tito Aure, who in turn used the money for the pupils of his friend, Miss Nenen Cubillo, who I also met in Tacloban. Their school was destroyed by Haiyan/Yolanda.
I received an angel when I came to St:a Gertrud’s school to talk about the aftermath of the typhoon and to show pictures I took in Tacloban 2013.
I will always remember the kindness and generosity of these Sigtuna kids, their parents and their teachers.
And I will always admire the strength in mind and heart of my friends in Tacloban, Tito Aure and Nenen Cubillo.
All these people I worked with – the Sigtuna people and the Tacloban people – they are angels.
This is the link to the reportage I wrote about my visit to Tacloban: “Livet efter Haiyan”