A Hemel Hempstead resident who survived the Philippines typhoon has told her dramatic story in a new book.
Leila Wilks grew up in poverty in rural Philippines.
She survived the devastating typhoon of 2011 which swept away everything in its path, but saw many around her drown.
Shocked by the number of children left without families to care for them, Leila, aged 54, decided to build an orphanage to house them.
She has managed to find a plot of land of 1,000sq m to build a home to accommodate 25 to 40 children, and is now trying to raise £20,000 before the end of October, as a down payment on the land.
To raise awareness of the plight of those left without families and to share her own experiences of the disaster, Leila has written a book in which she tells her powerful story.
It tells about the difficult times she has been through in her life, including raising her four brothers following her mother’s death from cancer, and losing her husband from kidney failure, and the strong faith which has helped her through.
Leila believes it is important to balance the life values she calls the five Fs – faith, family, finance, fitness and friends.
Leila launched her book, You Raise Me Up, which is available on Amazon, in June, and since then has been holding book signing events and talks. To book Leila for a talk, contact Filament Publishing Ltd on 020 8688 2598.