Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Today's update from the Philippines

Map of the Philippines with Cebu highlighted
Map of the Philippines with Cebu highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Executive summary:

Things are going well. If in Philippines, we'd love you to volunteer with us. If in the US, a donation goes a long ways to helping those in need."

Longer update:

 From Facebook (like the BonaResponds-Philippines page)

 * BonaResponds reaffirmed our intent of making this a long term program that is working long after the current disasters (earthquake and flood) have faded from the news. Totally expect this to be a permanent part of BonaResponds.

* Discussed their upcoming volunteer plans. From Shamae: we will be taking food to "Pilar Camotes this weekend [where] we will work on feeding in the evacuation centers and maybe start working with Gawad Kalinga."

* Are you in the Philippines? Want to volunteer, they have a ton of work to do and could really use some more volunteers. Leave us a message. 

* We have no plans on going from the USA. We have looked into it, but the cost of one plane ticket is about 12,000 meals. That tradeoff is not worth it in our opinion at the present.

* If you want to help and are in the US or elsewhere, we will gladly accept donations and make sure that 100% of what we get (credit card fees are still credit card fees) is used for the Philippines if you explain where you want the money to go.

* BIG NEWS: Rather than spending money on shipping, we have found a large hardware/home improvement store in Cebu where we will be buying gift cards to set up the tool "library". This is actually HUGE news. It cuts costs, reduces lead times, increases flexibility, and helps the local economy.

* Jen and Shamae's father (who has been drafted to help with the tool library) having been having computer and internet problems, but that is expected and hopefully getting better as Jen is back online today.

* Personal note: BonaResponds volunteers have never ceased to amaze me from the first trip. Bringing hard work, ingenuity, and a willingness to work with others to all jobs. BR-PH and especially Shamae and Jen are truly living up to this high standard. From identifying jobs, working in the field, and looking for ways to partner with other groups to help as many as possible, they are doing a great job!!

Salamat, Jim

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Fast update from the Philippines

Sorry for the lack of updates lately, Shamae and Jen have been having internet and electricity "issues". They are ok and will distribute more food as soon as they can.

Many have been evacuated to Cebu. Here is a picture that Shamae sent late yesterday (US east coast time) [I should stress I do not know if she took it or not]   "of some of the evacuees from TaclobanLeyte in one of the evacuation centers here in Cebu (Brgy. Tinago, Cebu City)"

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

An update from our friends/volunteers in the Philippines

Provinces and regions of the Philippines
Provinces and regions of the Philippines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As many of you know about 2 months ago Jen and Shamae founded a BonaResponds arm in Cebu City in the Philippines.  Their plan was to help in the slums of Cebu City and elsewhere.  

Fate has intervened twice since that humble beginning and the first response was after the eathquake that rocked the Philipines on October 15.  And now the typhoon that wrecked havoc over much of the nation.  

I heard from Shamae and Jen tonight  Here is a recap of what is happening in the Philippines through Shamae's eyes:

"Hello Jim, we are experiencing rotating brownout because of the power shortage. Most of the electricity towers in Leyte were destroyed. I have heard from my relatives in Pilar Camotes Island, an island in the extreme Northern Cebu, that our house was totally damaged. Pilar Camotes is the hometown of my mother.

We're very lucky that my parents are here with us during the typhoon. I have a proposal if it's ok with you and Jen that we will have relief goods distribution in Pilar Camotes. They are experiencing food shortage already. Most of the properties are totally damaged. Most of the relief goods from Cebu will just pass by the island going directly through Leyte and Samar. Pilar Camotes is just 30-40 minutes away from Ormoc, Leyte. I hope we could help them.
I have also another proposal if it's ok that we will have feeding in the evacuation centers in Northern Cebu, maybe we could go to Bogo, Sogod or Daanbantayan. Most properties are also totally damaged.

The immediate need now is food/water/ you can see in the news others are already stealing in stores."

BonaResponds just sent $500 to help the immediate need for food. (this is after the money sent after the earthquake that brought meals for 130 families).   We will be sending more.  You can help!  Please donate here.   Also see the group we were modeled after and with whom we have worked many times.  They do great work!

Once the immediate emergency is over, the work will begin to change and we hope  
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