Thursday, March 20, 2014

Aid for Taclobanon Families in Tents

Urban Poor Associates
25-A Mabuhay Street, Brgy. Central, Q.C.          Telefax: 4264118          Tel.: 4264119 / 4267615
Ref:  Princess Asuncion-Esponilla      Mobile phone: 0908 1967450

 (Distribution of Plywood Floorings at San Jose District, Tacloban City)

20 March 2014. Urban Poor Associates (UPA) together with Christian Aid provided 1000 families in 738 tents from Barangay 88, 89 and 90, San Jose District, Tacloban City of plywood floorings.

(Yolanda survivors in queue 
for their plywood floorings)

Each family will be given four pieces of marine plywood of ¾ inch thick and with a length of 4x8 feet to use for their floorings while their relocation is still unidentified. The fishermen who received the boats played a big part in distributing the plywood in a spirit of Bayanihan.

(Fishermen who were given boats by the Holy Spirit Sisters
Assisted in the distribution of plywood.)

UPA, an NGO that advocates housing rights, had been helping organize communities in Barangay 88, 89 and 90 San Jose to help and respond with their needs. Since January, several big meetings were held in the area together with the residents to find out what is the life of people after Yolanda. Many of them suffered in tents because of continuous rains, children were catching asthma and old people were complaining of colds.

Alicia Murphy, UPA Field Director said, “We first introduced the plywood flooring for about three families. We saw that the children can eat, play and sleep on the plywood and kept them dry. We believe that this is the solution now that we could give to the people while they wait for final relocation.”

                  (Yolanda survivor showing off her new flooring.)

Murphy added, “The family can also bring their plywood in their permanent shelter once it is done. This is a solution for now, the people don’t want permanently
to stay near the ocean nor they do want to stay in a temporary house forever.”

Belinda Guinoohan, resident of Barangay 90 and beneficiary of plywood flooring said, “I am very excited with our new floorings. My husband will fix it for us. We will now be able to sleep soundly at night.”

Guinoohan added, “Our tent is a hope for most of us because it helps us dream again of safe and permanent housing. Once you are inside our tent you will see on how all the improvements have come from overseas it looks all the world come together to help us. We are thankful for UPA because aside from material assistance they helped us bring care to one another and asked us to be united to claim what the government should do for all the victims of Yolanda.”

UPA and its partners Christian Aid and Holy Spirit Sisters will help in the recovery and reconstruction. Aside from temporary aid of plywood floorings, the group have distributed 40 boats to fishermen last February and provided nutritious snacks as a feeding program for about thousand children. In all this endeavors, survivors were always consulted and asked their participation from boat making to cooking of meals, in this way the community camaraderie is harnessed.  

In parting, Murphy said, “Our work here is basically to ensure that all Yolanda survivors arrived at a more prosperous and safe life.”

(UPA Staff (L-R: Ivy Pagute, Jessa Margallo, Alicia Murphy and Denis Murphy) with Tacloban fishermen)


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