PHILIPPINES: Salesian missionaries provide aid relief for those impacted by Taal volcano eruption in January
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries have been responding with aid relief for those impacted by the Taal volcano eruption that started on Jan. 12, 2020. The Taal volcano is the second most active volcano in the Philippines and is located on Luzon Islands, in the province of Batangas. The most recent eruption forced tens of thousands of people to leave their homes in search of safety and shelter.
In Batangas and Canlubang, Salesian missionaries and their lay mission partners have been assisting thousands of people with support both before the eruption and now in its wake. The local Mayapa Parish is operated by Rector Father Cerada and three Salesian priests.
Fr. Cerada noted, “Our social action ministry is still very busy with relief operations since many Taal volcano victims are coming to our vicinity and living with their relatives since they don’t have electricity and water in their areas. We are glad that our partners are able to help us in relief operations. I also asked for the help of our Bishop and the social action ministry of the Laguna diocese of San Pablo. Right now, we are planning to rehabilitate our three affected barrios, especially helping people with their livelihoods.”
Money has also been raised locally to help some families. The funding, which been allocated for housing materials, food and medical care, supported 119 families who are staying at the Little Bliss Evacuation Center, located in Malasila, North Cotabato.
In addition, each child was given a lunch box, spoon and fork, toothbrush and toothpaste, a pair of slippers, and a tumbler. Mothers and the elderly were given vitamins, blankets and towels. Volunteers were also there to serve lunch for the evacuees. These efforts were made possible thanks to parishioners of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, Don Bosco FIS-Provincial House, Don Bosco-Victorias, Philippine Dental Association, the BCBP group and local doctors who donated.
“We are inspired and proud of this small gesture of human and Christian solidarity in difficult times, and we pray that more Salesian family members are inspired and continue to reach out to the people in need,” added Fr. Cerada.
Since 1950, Salesian Missions has been providing crucial help in the Philippines—working with at-risk youth, impoverished families and disaster victims. Humanitarian agencies warn of the dangers faced by the most disadvantaged children in the Philippines. According to UNICEF, there are at least 1.2 million children between the ages of 5 and 15 who are out of school and are being left behind. In addition, children born into the poorest 20 percent of the population are almost three times more likely to die during their first five years as those from the richest 20 percent.
Salesian missionaries, supported by funding from Salesian Missions, were at the forefront of disaster relief during reconstruction after the Nov. 8, 2013 Super Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) devastated the country. According to United Nations estimates, 11.5 million people were affected by Haiyan and close to 1 million were displaced. More than half a million were homeless and living in the streets among the debris. Salesian missionaries mobilized all resources and efforts to aid the victims of this and other disasters.
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Salesian Missions – Philippines
UNICEF – Philippines