Cynthia (left) and mother, residents of the Boladangko Village
In January this year, CEDAR commenced phase two of its relief and recovery work in central Sulawesi of Indonesia. Our partner PESAT has been working with six post-disaster communities and its people by providing assistance on livelihood, education, and psychosocial support.
Since a renewed outbreak of conflict in Rakhine State of Myanmar in August 2017, another 702,000 Rohingya refugees arrived at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh; increasing the total refugee population to 915,000. Approximately, 1.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the area.
CEDAR and other Integral Alliance(IA) members have been responding to the situation by not only providing support to the Rohingya refugees, but also assisting the host communities. CEDAR has allocated funds to support Tearfund Bangladesh and the Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB) to install facilities like latrines, tube wells, solar light systems; distribute items such as cooking stoves and mosquito nets; and set up Child Friendly Spaces for children and youth to learn. In host communities, we will form Self Help Groups to help improve their livelihoods and increase household income and organise disaster management committees to build capacity of locals and refugees on disaster prevention and disaster risk reduction.
[ePrayer – Pray for the Typhoon Victims in Philippines]
In this January, CEDAR’s staff travelled to Philippines to support Food for the Hungry (FH), also an Integral Alliancemember, helping out in releasing relief materials. Our staff spoke to Hon, a 10 years old boy living in Basey. He said, ‘I wish that there is no typhoon in the world. I wish that there will be no more deaths….’ This is because Hon experienced the power of Super Typhoon Haiyan last November. Now whenever someone asked him to describe how he escaped from the Typhoon, he still exhibits great fear in his heart and cannot control his body from involuntary shaking. Rehabilitation phase has been started in the devastated areas however more manpower and materials are needed to fulfill the needs in basic living, health and safety. Helping those suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome is also an urgent task.
FH’s staffs have been working very hard in the past six months to provide relief assistance to the typhoon-affected communities in Marabut and Basey. Flor, a mother of two kids attending primary education, serves in FH to help the disadvantaged communities in Philippines.. Moved by God’s love, she immediately headed to the affected areas from Manila after Super Typhoon Haiyan left Philippines. She may look tough on the outside but inside having a gentle heart. ‘In the stricken regions, it is very difficult for us to implement relief work with limited support from the government and shortage of resources. Apart from tackling the problems and limitations in the disaster areas, I still need to handle my emotions from not living with my family members…. In fact, I feel very sad every time my children call me. They always ask “Mom, we miss you very much. When will you come home?”’ Flor is not able to return to her home due to her involvement in rebuilding the disaster area. The typhoon victims are also awaiting to see their homes rebuilt. They are both anxiously looking forward to their “home return date”.
The Super Typhoon Haiyan hit Philippines on 7 Novermber 2013 and victimized over 13 millions people. CEDAR reacted immediately and supported the local partner Philrads and local churches in Leyte and Samar, delivering about 100,000 food bags and over 8,500 sets of shelter repair kits to the affected families, and also providing trauma care and medical service. CEDAR later received a HK$1.24 million relief grant from HKSAR Government to further provide 3,600 food bags, 1,200 sets of relief materials (in which there are blanket, mosquito net, mat and cutlery) and 450 sets of hygiene kits in Marabut and Basey through Integral Alliance and FH.
Meditation on Scriptures God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46: 1) The typhoon victims lost their homes and families overnight, but have to endure endless of unsettling nights. How can they escape from such pain and unrest? The shelter promised by our God is one that no one can destroy. It is solid and firm. May God be their ever-present help in trouble, leading them to find peace on earth and in their hearts.
Pray for the Typhoon Victims in Philippines:
FH helps over 5,000 affected children through the ‘Child Friendly Space’ project, providing them public hygiene facilities and hygiene education. Hope that this project can really help to improve the local hygiene conditions and reduce the threat of epidemic and spread of germs in disaster areas.
FH has introduced the ‘Cash for Work’ project, so victims can earn living by cleaning up the disaster areas. Give thanks to God’s provision! Many of the victims now have basic fishing tools and also seeds for farming. Pray that God will continue to provide for their needs and the victims will soon become self-sufficient.
Pray that Philippines government and the NGOs will have a comprehensive planning on rebuilding the houses and communities. Pray that God will provide solid shelters to the victims, help in rebuilding of the victims’ homes, and strengthen the frontline aid workers for taking part in the disaster rehabilitation work.
The new typhoon season is coming. Pray for total recovery of the affected communities and from pain in people’s hearts; and for strength given to the victims in facing their new living and coming challenge.
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