Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Philippines: what the world is forgetting

On November 8, 2013, one of the most violent typhoons ever known slammed into the Philippine coast. Winds of over 300 km/hr and waves rising three meters tall swept away frail homes within a matter of hours. Today, nearly 10 million residents have been affected by this natural disaster, including 4 million children.

Dominating news headlines, the Philippines are the focus of a major mobilization on the part of emergency NGOs who are currently providing shelter, food, water, and first aid to all devastated areas (Leyte, Samar, Cebu, Bantayan, Negros, etc.). But the Philippines humanitarian emergency is only just beginning. In a few weeks, Typhoon Haiyan will become old news. Yet each and every affected Filipino will have to fight for the survival of himself and his family. Tomorrow, the real reconstruction struggles will emerge. It will no longer be a matter of delivering food and water, but rather of equipping each and every family with the means to rebuild their homes and support themselves through decent work. Also facing this uphill battle are thousands of orphaned children, left isolated and destitute. The life, integrity, and innocence of these children are now in jeopardy.
For 18 years, Children of the Mekong has been committed to providing hands-on support for the people of the Philippines. A development NGO specializing in educational sponsorships, Children of the Mekong supports nearly 60,000 children in Southeast Asia and sponsors 3,500 in the Philippines. In the field, Children of the Mekong teams are devoting their knowledge of the devastated areas and their network of contacts in order to support and guide emergency NGOs, while also assessing the damage and organizing the next phase of reconstruction.
1404921_629638597075217_179410467_oMost houses in areas affected by the typhoon are now destroyed. But the hard-working people of the Philippines have already begun to rebuild their houses with materials recovered from the rubble, says Antoine Besson, who is on a fact-finding mission this week on the islands of Cebu and Bantayan on behalf of Children of the Mekong.
Right now, donations can make a major difference in the Philippines and save lives. By sponsoring a child, you have the ability to provide shelter for that child and fund their education so that this natural disaster does not condemn its youngest victims to a life of misery and a lack of education.
To provide even greater assistance, Children of the Mekong has set up an emergency fund to provide support for the reconstruction of homes and to give people the resources for a small domestic economy (such as fishing boats, livestock, and seeds) so that every family can soon return to a semblance of dignity and financial independence.
“The children we help today 
will save their country tomorrow!”
This is the conviction that drives Children of the Mekong. And this is why the NGO is calling upon the generosity of its supporters to sponsor a new generation of Philippine children over time and to fund the reconstruction effort through this emergency fund.
Please donate online at 
Children of the Mekong/Enfants du Mekong in the Philippines:
-        Operating for 18 years
-        3,500 sponsored children
-        17 overseas volunteers
Need for reconstruction: £500,000
Example of support:
6 hens: £25
1 pig: £120
Build a new house: £420
Buy a fishing boat: £840

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