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GK Operation Walang Iwanan to help Typhoon Sendong victims

Michelle Baltazar

Community volunteer group Gawad Kalinga has launched an appeal calling Filipino-Australians to provide food packs to those affected by Typhoon Sendong, which has reportedly killed more than 600 people.

 

Typhoon Sendong victims image sourced from globalonlinevoices.org
Typhoon Sendong victims image sourced from globalonlinevoices.org

 

GK has enlisted the help of the local community by way of a letter sent to a member of the Filipino Press Group in Sydney. The letter is published below:

My Fellow Filipinos,
 
Typhoon Sendong has created a situation that has disrupted the celebration of the holiday season for thousands of families in Iligan, Cagayan de Oro and Dumaguete. They are now enduring difficulties due to lack of food and displacement from their homes. A good number even lost family members due to flash floods, mostly children.
 
While those among us who have been spared are thankful, we should not remain just thankful and comfortable but recognize that this moment calls for every Filipino to demonstrate solidarity!  It is our duty to heed the calls for help from  our countrymen! 
 
Gawad Kalinga has activated GK Operation Walang Iwanan for Iligan, Dumaguete and Cagayan de Oro.  Team GK from nearby provinces are now being mobilized to help the worst-hit areas.  Negros Occidental will help Dumaguete, Bukidnon and Agusan del Norte will help Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, while organizing the local volunteers of the impact areas as well.
 
We are targeting to initially generate 5000 food packs for the first two days starting December 19 to be simultaneously distributed to the different barangays in the affected areas. I appeal for you to act on this opportunity to be our brothers keeper. 
 
Full details of GK Operation Walang Iwanan and how you can help can be found via
http://gk1world.com/typhoon-sendong-operation-walang-iwanan
 
You may donate online via www.gk1world.com or through bank deposit to the following accounts :
 
Gawad Kalinga Philippine Peso Current Account # 3101 0977 56 BPI EDSA Greenhills Gawad Kalinga US$ Savings Account # 3104 0162 34 BPI EDSA Greenhills (Swift code: BOPIPHMM)
 
Let us bring hope and become the glad tidings to the  affected families during this season of  hope and goodwill!
 
MAY THE LORD BLESS OUR EFFORTS!
 
Jose Luis Oquinena
Executive Director
Gawad Kalinga

Community chips in

Other community groups based in Australia have already started to help. Emma de Vera, a Sydney-based community leader, has volunteered the offices of her family's printing business, on Unit 3/50 George St., Granville, as a drop-off point for all donations - food, clothing and medicine.

In an email to the Filipino Press Group, she said that all donations coursed through them would be sent to Gawad Kalinga and they in turn will take over the distribution in those affected areas. She can be reached on emmastertax@yahoo.com 

Meanwhile, Filipino Press Group member Mitchell Badelles hails from the town affected and is working with www.iligansydney.org to organise a distribution point with a major evacuee centre at Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology Gym.

He said in the email to the Press Group: "On a personal basis, six members of our clan have perished. but it's not about me or my clan. Bodies are literally piling up. The funerarias are unable to cope.People are still missing. Entire families are unaacounted for and could be part of the reason why the missing persons list is not as high as expected."

"The most immediate aid that can be send is money to purchase food, water, anti-biotics for the cuts and bruises. Clothes will also help. Our groups bank account details is part of the press release. Even a dollar will help," he said.

Badelles can be reached on mitchell@cosmosstellar.com.au.

Update December 24:

Due to the christmas break, the drop-off point stated above (Unit 3/50 George Street Granville) is actually closed for business. If you would like more information on where to drop your donations over the holiday break, please email Australian Filipina or call Michelle on 0412 906 224.

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