Belfast Telegraph

Down but not out... the stoical people of storm-hit Philippines

BY CLAIRE MCNEILLY

There are faces you just never forget – and these are some of them.

When Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines six months ago the images shocked the world and inspired a huge international aid effort.

Award-winning Belfast photographer Matt Mackey visited the area with Concern Worldwide shortly after the islands were devastated.

His pictures are now part of a major exhibition in Belfast's Waterfront Hall, capturing the moving stories of individuals whose lives were forever changed by the storm.

"The idea was to show the people of Northern Ireland where their money goes when they support humanitarian organisations such as Concern through their emergency appeals," said Matt (right).

"It constantly evolves in front of you as you talk to local people and find out their personal stories. That's how the pictures develop."

Matt visited three islands on his trip, taking over 15,000 photographs. He also spent time in Concepcion, where Concern is based.

He then faced the difficult task of trying to choose just 24 for the exhibition entitled: Faces Of The Philippines: 7,000 Islands, 1 Typhoon, 4 Lives.

Concern is still helping those whose lives were ripped apart when the typhoon struck and has so far reached over 110,000 people.

Peter Anderson, Northern Ireland director of Concern, said the exhibition is a testament to the people of the Philippines, who showed incredible resilience and determination to rebuild their lives.

The exhibition runs from April 28-May 3, 2014, with a special opening event on Tuesday, April 29 at 6pm.

For more information visit: www.waterfront.co.uk/whatson/

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