I joined the “Worldwide Walk for Yolanda Victims” February last year. I remember getting a shirt stamped for the “cause”. I still have it in my drawer. But my two hundred fifty pesos (as I remember paying) did not only left me a shirt to remember but it had helped BIG to those who were really unfortunate that mournful moment of their lives.
The Walk spearheaded by Iglesia ni Cristo did not only gave new and sturdy homes to the victims of the terrible typhoon but has brought new life and REAL NEW beginning to the beneficiaries NOT limited to church members alone.
The homes are livable – there is water, electricity, safe walls and above all there is something inside the community that gives them long-term relief not just for days, weeks or months but probably for a lifetime – farming tools with the necessary techniques (through seminars just as what has been provided in Agusan resettlement –even invited foreign experts to teach latest technology on farming) and equipment; dried fish factory; garment factory— sewing training with pay and employment later on, I was told by a friend who is employed in the same Nueva Ecija resettlement Unlad Garment Factory too. Those will surely give new life and hope to the unfortunate victims of the catastrophe.
The problems of most resettlement areas even from the Government is sustainable living. Yes, the occupants have a shelter but how can they stay on that place IF there is no way they can earn for a living – that was theorized and planned by the church administration, when they said we will HELP the victims, they really mean it seriously. The people in that community will no longer go far to find a living. They are educated and the workplace is built within. There is no reason they cannot sustain daily living. The church administration is deeply reaching-out to the victims and has exhausted REAL efforts to realize it. Participants of the “Worldwide Walk for Yolanda Victims” are just members of the Church – and I can say that not ALL had participated in the Walk; compared to other organizations that raised fund for them who have more members and participants BUT we are seeing substandard structures as new homes being provided and no thoughts about sustainable living within the community(?!).
And the amount we paid, not bad having a t-shirt bearing the stamp of the event as a remembrance and watching the proceeds of that registration fee, makes me feel not a cent was wasted, everything accounted for. I feel so proud that some “hollow blocks” or nails came from me. Through that we have shown great love to other people.
Here are the links if you wanted to see for yourself.