Philippines: Charity helps fishing villages recover after Typhoon Haiyan

New fishing boats

New fishing boats

Five small fishing villages in the Philippines which were virtually washed away by Typhoon Haiyan on 8 November last are coming back to life - thanks to the generosity of one Catholic charity.

Within hours of being asked for help, SPICMA (Special Projects in Christian Missionary Areas) rushed £20,000 for emergency aid. Since then they have sent another £129,000 making a total to date of £149,000.

In the early stages most of the early funds were used to provide food and shelter via the missionaries in Turda (North Panay) coastal outstations: Malawig, Bayon, Buena Vista and the island of Tara. Also other Church operations in Islands of Panay, Palawan/Busuanga Islands.  Six months ago Missionaries working with communities in the impoverished villager’s of Tinigban, Calagana, Iloilo and Colcepcion asked SPICMA to assist them in rebuilding their devastated lives of families within these communities who were particularly affected as not only had they lost everything, but were unable to work due to their income being derived solely from sea fishing. All the boats had been destroyed by the hurricane.

SPICMA has so far been able to financed 25 seagoing vessels with a further five still under construction. Each of these boats is able to support ten families which has enabled children to return to their schooling and homes to be repaired.

The community has asked that the balance of the money be used to provide roofing and paint for their small chapel/health centre where they celebrate Mass and gather for prayer and teach their children the catechism. This building was very badly damaged by the hurricane and presently has no roof at all.

The author of this report finally added: “I have never seen such tremendous faith and respect for God as with these people. They work as a community, helping and assisting each other in these difficult times. Tremendous faith and a simple life keep them happy. They have less in life in terms of material things, but they have more in love and care for each other and their families – thank you to both SPICMA and your donors for your full support of this project”

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Tags: Special Projects in Christian Missionary Areas, Bayon, Buena Vista, Malawig, North Panay, Philippines, SPICMA, Tara, Turda, Typhoon Haiyan

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