From ‘Yolanda’ survivors to ‘Ruby’ responders

December 9, 2014

The Archdiocese of Palo Rehabilitation Unit (RRU), who was among those devastated by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) last year, has embarked on a mission this time to give relief assistance to those who were affected by Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) in Catbalogan City, Samar.

The group headed by Fr. Alcris Badana, program director of the Archdiocese of Palo RRU, travelled at least four hours by land yesterday to reach the San Bartholomew Parish in Catbalogan City to deliver the relief goods for 1,150 Ruby-affected families in the province.

“The spirit of Alay Kapwa is truly alive not only here but also in all of the 85 dioceses nationwide who are helping those who were affected by Typhoon Ruby. While Leyte has been affected as well by this recent typhoon, we make it a point to help also nearby dioceses that are most in need of immediate assistance. This is also our way of paying forward the goodness we have received from everyone who partook in the Yolanda rehabilitation efforts,” Fr. Badana said.

The priest added that aside from the distribution of relief goods, they would also do initial rapid needs assessments on the scope of damage and devastation of Typhoon Ruby in the area.

Since April this year, the group has been implementing various rehabilitation efforts in Leyte under the #REACHPhilippines program of NASSA/Caritas Philippines, which is the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.
Among their interventions are the provision of shelter, food security and livelihood, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), disaster risk reduction trainings, community organizing and ecosystem recovery
They are also part of the group currently preparing for the much awaited visit of Pope Francis in Palo, Leyte this January.
Meanwhile, the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Calbayog headed by Fr. Cezar Aculan expressed his gratitude to the Archdiocese of Palo for its relief assistance.

“This only proves that the Catholic Church is true to our commitment to help the poor and the vulnerable. Indeed, together we are more,” Fr. Aculan exclaimed.
So far the Catholic Church through its social action arm NASSA/Caritas Philippines has already released about P3-million from the local church’s emergency funds “Alay Kapwa” and other local and non-Caritas Internationalis funds for the purchase of relief goods typhoon-hit areas, aside from each dioceses utilizing local funds.
The Alay Kapwa is the Lenten evangelization and fundraising program of the Church to raise consciousness and funds for calamities and major social concerns.

It also recently launched a Solidarity Appeal to the 85 dioceses nationwide to raise funds for the families affected by Typhoon Ruby.

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Reference:
Jing Rey Henderson
Senior Communications Officer
Humanitarian Unit
NASSA/Caritas Philippines
(0905) 546-9977 / 525-1924

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