Friday, October 2, 2009

The Pacific Disasters and the Salesian Response

Our Salesians in Manilla are asking for help as they deal with this Typhoon disaster. Please pray for the people of the Philippines and if you are able to help please click here for the Salesian Missions.

Urgent Appeal for Assistance to Typhoon Victims

The Commission on Youth Ministry has raised 300,000 pesos from various benefactors which is equivalent to USD 6,000 dollars. With USD 1,000 dollars, we can prepare relief goods (ready to eat food) for 100 families good for 3 days. That is very minimal. Hence, there is a need for more funds to buy food and other immediate items needed.

At present, there are already 300 confirmed dead and 500,000 persons displaced and are living in evacuation centers.

Chronology of Events:

During the typhoon last Saturday September 26, 2009
As what was mentioned in the previous Australasia newsclasp, Don Bosco Technical College Mandaluyong gave temporary shelter and meals to 300 college students trapped by flood. Savio Parish also in Mandaluyong became a temporary shelter for the parishioners. Settings in Makati areas were flooded at the ground floor. Books and paper got wet. Some mission areas in San Ildefonso Parish were also affected by flood waters. Don Bosco Center of Studies and Seminaryo ng Don Bosco became temporary shelter for students and had to sleep over. Tuloy became a temporary shelter for 800 persons living in the mission areas. All the rest, no news.

After the typhoon
From the National Disaster Coordinating Council, several cities in Metro Manila were declared to be in the state of calamity such as: Marikina, Pasig, Taguig, Muntinlupa, Quezon City as well as the provinces of Rizal and Laguna.

There were approximately 300 dead and 500,000 persons living now in evacuation areas. Evacuation areas are usually government schools, gymnasiums, multi-purpose halls or barangay halls.

Some SDB families were also affected especially those living within the areas mentioned to be in a state of calamity as well as our lay mission partners and students.

The rains that poured on that day were very unusual. The rains for the day were equivalent to the total rainfall for the month. The last time such an event occurred was 40 years ago. So the down pour flooded homes up to waist deep and even up to the rooftop. While the rampaging current swept houses, persons and vehicles away. School days for the calamity areas were suspended for a week.

What is being done by our Salesian communities:

Don Bosco San Jose collected relief goods and cash from their students. DB Pampanga also is collecting relief goods and cash from their students for Pampanga areas. Savio parish in Mandaluyong started distributing relief goods to affected families in their areas. Now the young people of the youth center are volunteering to other church and community organizations to pack relief goods. Don Bosco Technical College was doing the same thing of bringing relief goods to their lay mission partners and students, to other parishes and communities affected by the floods. The students and employees are doing volunteer work. Our parishes are raising awareness from the parishioners in raising more relief goods and funds for this matter. The Tuloy kids are also helping out Rotary Alabang to repack goods. Seminaryo ng Don Bosco, Post Novitiate and Pre Novitiate are helping out as volunteers in different church agencies to repack relief goods.
SJB Parish raising awareness among parishioners for relief goods.

The Commission on Youth Ministry is coordinating and animating the province thru:
1. appeals for relief goods an cash donations here and abroad
2. matching volunteers with needs
3. raising awareness through volunteerism from young professionals who do volunteer service after office hours
4. spreading the donations to reach out to as many affected communities

At present, all efforts are into rescue and relief operations. Recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction will still take some time especially that there is another impending typhoon coming in. We are praying that it diverts its course or do as little damage as possible. Otherwise it can be traumatic for those already affected.

1. Some areas not being reached by relief and rescue efforts because they are not passable by foot or by vehicle.
2. There is an impending typhoon coming which might bring more rains
3. There is a need to sustain efforts to bring more aid

Immediate need:
1. ready to eat food
2. potable water
3. toiletries for men and especially for women
4. sleeping mats
5. slippers
6. cleaning materials
7. pail to gather water
8. medicines

Future concerns:
1. Disease outbreak. Medical mission will be needed
2. Clean up
3. Recovery, rehabilitation, reconstruction

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