Allie Stryker 2014-01-15 04:15:21
Helping Out After Typhoon Haiyan Sometimes words fail. Survivors say if you weren’t there when Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, it would be almost impossible to understand the fear, the sense of helplessness or the despair that followed. Looking at the aftermath, it is hard to believe that anyone could survive a storm of such force. “The scene on the ground is grim and heartbreaking, especially in Tacloban. There is no place there that has a roof–schools, churches, malls, government buildings. The city has lost practically everything,” says Council Chairperson Em L. Ang of Lions Multiple District 301 in the Philippines after a visit to the most devastated areas of the Philippines as part of the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Committee. “We have seen entire villages obliterated. I have no words to describe what is left.” Typhoon Haiyan, known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, was estimated to have been the strongest storm ever to hit land. By looking at the resulting devastation, that estimation is easy to believe. As early reports of the typhoon’s destruction filtered in from the Philippines, Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) made $130,000 available to Philippine Lions to provide immediate relief. That amount quickly increased to $500,000 through donations from Lions in neighboring countries and around the world. Within a month, LCIF had surpassed $1 million in donations and commitments for disaster relief efforts including the shipment of tents and water filtration units, or jerry cans. “After visiting the most affected area, I can now understand and sympathize with the desperate needs of the victims. Short-term, they need food, water and medical supplies. Then they will need assistance in cleanup, reconstruction and rebuilding. And we Lions will be there with them all the way,” says Ang. “The tents and jerry cans will greatly help the affected families as they slowly pick up the pieces of their lives shattered by Haiyan. Thanks to LCIF, the local Lions are better able to help the victims rise above the debris and destruction. I extend my sincere thanks for all the support that LCIF has brought our countrymen in these very difficult times.” The Philippines has 12,600 Lions in 380 Lions clubs. Four clubs are in the capital city of Cebu in the hardest-hit province, and one is in the hardest-hit town of Tacloban City. Immediately after the storm was over, the Lions went to work providing relief. “I was humbled by the immediate and generous support of our Lions worldwide,” says LCIF Chairperson Wayne Madden. “When I visited the Philippines, I saw the damage that the typhoon had done. Though buildings and communities are damaged in the Philippines, the Lions’ spirit is not. It is moments like these that demonstrate the large scale of Lions’ compassion and dedication to service and humanitarian needs.” The typhoon’s impact has been throughout the Philippines. “Although my family and I were not directly affected by the super typhoon, in a way we have been, because we feel the devastation,” says Lion Lina Manacap. “All my gratitude goes toward those who have helped, big or small. You have eased a little of the victims’ pain. I cannot thank you enough.” To learn more about relief efforts, visit the LCIF website. To donate, visit www.lcif.org/donate. To see more photos taken by Lions in the Philippines search for #LionsRelief on Facebook.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/Typhoon+Relief/1609876/192299/article.html.