An organization of young professionals in the CNMI, the Marianas Young Professionals, concluded its 90-day Super Typhoon Yutu immediate recovery mission last Saturday.
According to MYPros executive director G Van Gils, the organization wants to now transition into beautifying the island.
“This, what you’re seeing, is the end phase of our recovery mission. The Marianas Young Professionals wanted to conduct a 90-day recovery mission after Super Typhoon Yutu and to wrap up our mission of feeding, sheltering, and cleaning up our island. We want to continue with the work of beautifying our island,” he said.
Last Saturday, three artists and a number of children gathered at the MYPros Recovery Center in Dandan to paint murals along the center’s walls to signify hope after Yutu.
The artists were Peter Aldan, Kimberly Mendiola, and Yolani Camacho.
Van Gils said that MYPros now wants to focus on beautification and art because both instances offer emotional support after a traumatic experience like Yutu.
“How we feel determines our happiness, it determines how successful we are in the recovery process, how we manage stress is very important to the recovery. Since the very beginning, we had art projects here that typhoon survivors could participate in. We’ve also had music. We had the Friends of the Arts here to provide music, and we want to continue this community engagement in both arts and music and we’re going to do other educational initiatives as well,” he said.
Now that immediate recovery has been completed, Van Gils said the organization would also focus on their own financial recovery in order to ensure preparedness in case another disaster devastates the Commonwealth.
“We spent more than we fundraised and we will continue to fundraise for Super Typhoon Yutu recovery. …We did so much work but we spent a lot of money and we’re going to be fundraising over the next year as we all continue to recover. So we recover physically, by cleaning our home up, we recover emotionally by paying attention to the arts and our own feelings and developing a bond with the community, and we all now have to recover financially,” he said.
During its 90-day recovery mission, MYPros was able to feed over 70,000 people hot meals in partnership with the CNMI government, distributed emotional and therapeutic toys and relief aids through the Public School System, provided hygiene and cleaning supplies to shelters, cleared beaches, chain-sawed trees in private areas, provided food, water, and shelter to Yutu victims, and partnered with organizations like Karidat Social Services, the Salvation Army, and the American Red Cross-NMI Chapter on other Yutu recovery efforts.