As a result of Typhoon Hagupit’s destruction of homes and infrastructure in the Visayan Islands, many families are currently in dire need of immediate relief.
Three of PeaceBuilders’ senior staff — Joji Felicitas Bautista Pantoja (Admin/Finance), Kriz Cruzado (FieldOps), and Bennette Grace Tenecio Mañulit (SupportOps) — are currently assessing the damage and coordinating relief efforts including nutritional and medical assistance for the typhoon survivors. Assisting the PeaceBuilders staff are the members of the Peace And Reconciliation Disaster Response Networks (PAR-DRNs). These networks were organized in the aftermath of last year’s horrific Super Typhoon Haiyan. The purpose of the networks is to train empower local people for organized disaster response. In our new reality of climate change, when every recent Philippine typhoon season has seen at least one especially devastating and disruptive storm, these local networks are indispensable. They represent an opportunity for pastors and churches in the Philippines’ most disaster-prone regions to practice effective, lifesaving care for their neighbors, and they also help vulnerable Filipinos to maintain a level self-reliance rather than to depend completely upon government and international aid in the aftermath of natural disasters.
As necessary as these networks are, they currently have limited resources and are still in the early stages of development. In the meantime, PeaceBuilders is seeking donations in order to be able to provide the immediate relief needed in these weeks after Hagupit.
HERE’S HOW TO HELP:
- In the United States, please send your donation to the Mennonite Central Committee.
- In Canada, please donate to the Mennonite Church Canada.
- In the Philippines, please send your donation to PeaceBuilders Community.
If you would like to see some of the ways in which PeaceBuilders Community has commonly used donation money in the wake of natural disasters, check out PeaceBuilders’ YouTube Channel, where there are many videos of our past relief efforts.
- See the team and volunteers prepare food relief packages following 2012’s Hurricane Pablo in VOLUNTEERS PREPARE 2000 FAMILY PACKS FOR FIFTH WAVE RELIEF MISSION, and watch them carefully monitor the relief operation in TRANSPARENCY IS AN ETHICAL VALUE IN OUR RELIEF OPERATIONS.
- Food aid is transported painstakingly over storm-damaged roads in TRYING TO REACH THE DIBABAWON TRIBE HIT BY TYPHOON PABLO, and arrives at its destination to the joy of the typhoon survivors in DIBABAWAN GIRL OPENS HER RELIEF BAG.
- To reach another hard-hit tribe, heroic truck drivers risk their lives and their rigs by driving 35-ton trucks over a makeshift mud bridge which engineers had rated to support only five tons; take a listen to PeaceBuilders CEO Dann Pantoja’s ecstatic narration in TRUCK DRIVERS RISK CROSSING THE RIVER TO REACH THE MANDAYA TRIBE.
WE SENT OUR BEST PEOPLE IN THE ‘HAGUPIT’ FIELD
Kriz Cruzado (FieldOps), Bennette Grace Tenecio Mañulit (SupportOps), and Joji Felicitas Bautista Pantoja (FinanceAdmin) were all in the leadership team of our emergency response initiatives during the 2008 GPH-MILF armed conflicts, and during the mega-disasters of the past few years — Ondoy/Ketsana 2009, Sendong/Washi 2011, Pablo/Bopha 2012, and Yolanda/Haiyan 2013. They have a combined disaster response management experience of more than 18 years.
We are on the ground and are directly working with 6 community-based disaster response networks who have been training with us for the past 10 months. These networks currently have 100 active volunteers, mostly from faith-based local communities. These volunteers are geographically, socially, and culturally rooted in Samar and Leyte.
Kriz. Bennette. Joji. Our best. Transparent, compassionate, efficient, and effective ground partners.