OPLANYOLLY@ST. SCHO Relief Efforts Continue Reaching Out
Super Typhoon Yolanda, with sustained winds of 314 kilometers (198 miles) an hour, struck the Philippine archipelago on November 8, 2013, pummelling several entire coastal towns across Central Visayas as the sea surged ashore and left behind shattered homes and countless bodies scattered across wastelands. It also wrecked livelihoods on a massive scale, destroying crops, livestock, and coconut plantations and fishing boats. Hence, desperation built up with dozens of displaced and devastated communities who were devoid of shelter, clothes, food, water and medicines.
In response to the enormous devastation wrought by the monstrous typhoon Yolanda in Samar and Leyte, Sr. Mary Thomas Prado, OSB, president of St. Scholastica’s College, Manila called on all students, parents, alumnae, benefactors, friends here and abroad to send in their donations to help in the immediate relief and recovery efforts in the affected communities. The disaster response was quick and overwhelming.
Honed to be of service to the poor and the less fortunate, the Scholasticans brought relief goods to the pergola at Gate 1 and the waiting area turned into an instant relief centre. Much of the assistance came in the form of clothes, medical supplies, food, water and other basic necessities for survival in the wastelands. The destruction of airports, roads, bridges and other infrastructures hampered the delivery and distribution of relief supplies. Sr. Celine Saplala, OSB, the Institutional Social Action Center coordinator, the staff and the countless volunteer hands of students, parents, teachers, alumnae packed and re-packed relief items.
In coordination with the Philippine Air Force, Philippine Navy, Air Asia, INAED, Gothong Shipping, and 2GO Cargo, St. Scholastica’s College’s relief goods were transported by land, sea and air and were safely received by our Sisters in Tacloban and Ormoc and were distributed accordingly to people in dire need of relief and humanitarian assistance.
Two months after typhoon Yolanda ravaged the Visayas region, grieving survivors keep their spirit high and continue to radiate the ray of hope as numerous local and international relief, rehabilitation and recovery efforts keep flowing like a spring of living water from generous-hearted people here and abroad.
On November 20, 2013, SSC-Manila ended the Phase I of the Relief Operations and moved to Phase II of the OplanYolly with a roundtable discussion on Nov. 27, 2013. The next project is the resettlement community for homeless survivors. From Dec. 26-30,2013, a third team of four (4) Sisters led by S. Celine travelled to Ormoc, Tacloban and Samar and brought relief goods, cooking utensils, and housing materials to fifteen (15) families of our school personnel whose houses in Ormoc, Tacloban and Samar were destroyed during the typhoon. Then on January 19-21, 2014, Sr. Mary Thomas accompanied by Sr. Regina David, OSB, Dean Becky Marquez and Prof. Aurora Lomibao distributed relief goods in Payapay, and finalized plans of adopting Tanauan II Central Elem. School – a project in partnership with San Beda College – Mendiola and Alabang. They also visited the site of the resettlement community in Alang-alang where SSC, through the help of benefactors and Habitat for Humanity, will build thirty (30) houses for 30 displaced families. These two ongoing projects are called “Yakap-Eskwela” (for the adopt-a-school program) and Sambayanan in San Benito (for the resettlement community project).
In the words of our school president, Sr. Mary Thomas: “We thank our partners, here and abroad – individuals, students, alumni, families, groups, communities, clubs and organizations, companies, schools, monasteries and religious congregations – for your donations in cash and in kind, for your volunteer work, for your caring heart, for walking the extra mile. Every effort that was put in was precious. We will remember you in our rehabilitation and recovery efforts. You will be very much a part of the community we will build, the houses we will make, the farm we will till. THANK YOU more than words can express.” And, that in all things, God may be glorified.
by Sr. Rosalina R. Fajardo, OSB