Thank you for your support

25th January 2014 - by Stephen Awre

Fr. Shay Cullen and PREDA provide vital support to typhoon survivors.
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Eleven weeks after the devastating typhoon in the Philippines, Fr. Shay Cullen reports on how your generosity is supporting vital work in rehabiliting families and communities.

In the immediate aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as ‘Yolanda’), Fr. Shay Cullen and the staff of PREDA, a non-governmental organisation focussed on protecting and supporting children, set to work with victims housed in evacuation centres in Manila, providing food, soap, children’s clothes and other basic essentials.

Fearing that abandoned and orphaned children might be abducted and trafficked for cheap labour and sexual abuse, the PREDA team has given preventative education to the children using puppet shows and games.  Seminars for parents, as well as counselling and assistance for families torn apart and suffering unimaginable loss, is also being provided. 

Looking ahead, we are working with The Philippine Misereor Partnership to develop and implement long term help in the disaster area where small farmers have been wiped out. They have lost everything.

The planned project, in coordination with the Misereor Partner NGO in Samar /Leyte, will provide daily paid work for the farmers so they can feed themselves.  The work provided will be to plant trees on deforested land and replace the thousands of destroyed trees. The project will provide forest tree saplings, coconut trees, mangos trees, coffee, goats and establish organic vegetable gardens to meet immediate needs and help farmers become self-reliant and sustainable once again.

Thank you to all who have given generously to support this work.  More than £15,000 has been donated from Britain directly for Fr. Shay and PREDA and another £35,000 has been donated for distribution by the Columbans in the Philippines, much of which will go towards this and similar work identified through Columban networks in the country.

Donations are still being taken.  Please indicate when making your gift that it is for the Columban response to Typhoon Haiyan.