PHILIPPINES: Salesians distribute relief after flash flood destruction
Salesian missionaries with St. Joseph Worker Parish assist 2,600 families after flash flood
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries are helping 2,600 families after the Suba River, near the St. Joseph Worker Salesian Parish, caused flash flooding in Victorias City, Philippines. The flooding resulted in the destruction of homes and many people lost everything.
Many families found shelter in the large Shrine of Mary Immaculate in the Cane Town district, a space Salesians opened during the flooding for those who needed a safe place. Salesian missionaries have been collecting donations including boxes of pasta, clothes, blankets, towels, shoes, bags of rice, soap, biscuits and preserves.
Salesian Father Joriz Calsa, youth ministry delegate, shared a message on the parish Facebook page. “Blessings of help poured in from some of our friends in Cebu, local communities and Don Bosco Past Pupils of different schools. So far, we are on our second week giving food assistance. The past two weeks we have distributed the food packs and other relief goods to 2,600 families. We focused on this help, since the materials for reconstruction cost a lot and it is beyond our means.”
Fr. Calsa added, “Our parish initiative was very much appreciated especially when we opened the doors of our large shrine as an evacuation center which sheltered 87 people the night of the flood. People also appreciated the distribution of food assistance.”
The relief work was supported by many parish volunteers who packed relief goods and then were involved in the distribution. The packages were initially distributed in the Cane Town Shrine, then from house to house. Relief items are still coming in and are being provided to families in need.
The St. Joseph Worker Parish covers a large rural geographic area where most people earn their living from agriculture. Located on the island of Negros, it is the first Salesian presence in the Philippines, having started in 1951. The parish is part of a broader Salesian mission in the area. Salesians offer education and social development services in the region.
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.
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Salesian Missions – Philippines
UNICEF – Philippines