PHILIPPINES: Salesians help local community after Typhoon Rai
Don Bosco Formation Center in Lawaan is damaged
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Formation Center in Lawaan, Philippines, was impacted by Typhoon Rai, which hit the region with winds of 121 miles per hour before making landfall on Dec. 16. According to the National Council for Disaster Risk Management and Reduction, the effects of the typhoon impacted more than 1.8 million people including killing 407 and injuring 1,147.
Once safe after the typhoon, Salesians, aspirants, youth from the Don Bosco Youth Center and lay mission partners worked to restore the damaged building. Water was restored and electricity was provided with a generator. The Don Bosco Youth Center was also able to reach out and help neighboring communities by providing clean water and a charging station for free. The Salesian community also received donated goods and was able to distribute them to people who had been impacted.
With the assistance of Father Chito Dimaranan, the Don Bosco Formation Center was also able to reach out to people on Bohol Island, which had been impacted by the storm. Relief supplies including water and filtering systems were provided to families and the broader community.
In addition, the garden at Mary Help of Christians was transformed to a public open space where people could relax and celebrate the Christmas season despite all the pain and suffering.
“Salesian missionaries live in the communities in which they work and were able to quickly assess the damage and provide what they could to help support their local communities after this devastating storm,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesians in the community will continue to assess what families might need and will be there helping local communities.”
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. 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.
Poverty rose sharply in the Philippines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the World Bank, close to 4 million people became poor in the first half of 2021 due to pandemic-induced lockdown measures that dried up jobs and reduced domestic demand. Poverty incidence in the Philippines rose to 23.7 percent from 21.1 percent, indicating 3.9 million more people are living in poverty now than in 2018 when the statistics were last verified.
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Salesian Missions – Philippines
World Bank – Philippines