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Second wave of love for Urduja survivors in Ormoc

February 24, 2018 | Jamaica Digo

A beneficiary wears her biggest smile as she receives cash assistance from a Tzu Chi volunteer. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

Story Highlights

  • On February 24, 2018 Tzu Chi Foundation distributed the second wave of cash assistance for the families affected by Tropical Storm Urduja at the Great Love City in Barangay Lilo-an, Ormoc. The distribution benefitted 532 families.

  • Along with the relief distribution, Tzu Chi volunteers organized a New Year’s Blessing program where they gave out ang paos, red packets from Tzu Chi founder Master Cheng Yen.

 

Tzu Chi Foundation once again extended aid to the residents of Great Love City affected by the massive flooding brought by Tropical Storm Urduja (Kai-Tak) in December 2017.

On February 24, 2018 the first of two sessions of cash aid distributions was held at Barangay Lilo-an covered court. It benefitted 532 families.

As it did during the emergency phase of its relief work for the victims back in December, Tzu Chi modified the amount of cash aid to be given according to the number of family members. For families with three members and less, Tzu Chi gave out Php3,000. Families with four to five members were given Php4,000 while those with six members up received Php5,000.

In order to gather accurate information about the beneficiaries, local Tzu Chi volunteers of Ormoc conducted home visits days before the aid distribution.

“Our assistance last time was only intended as an emergency aid so this time we came back to give another set of assistance to these people,” says Tzu Chi volunteer Michael Siao.

During the relief program, cheers erupted across the venue when the villagers found out about Tzu Chi’s gift for them.

Although initially surprised by the announcement, Anita Tagalog, 45, already had in mind what to do with the cash aid.

“I am planning to buy cement to repair the flooring of our house, which sustained a few damages after Tropical Storm Urduja,” says Anita. “After the flood, Tzu Chi had extended help already and now they’re back to help us yet again. We are very touched and thankful to Master Cheng Yen for her concern.”

After the distribution, Angie Cabulong, 44, went to the Pharmacy. “My daughter is ill so I will use the money to purchase supply of her maintenance medicines for the coming weeks,” explains Angie whose eldest, 19-year-old Marycris, suffers from Hypokalemia, a condition where the body has low supply of potassium and calcium.

Due to financial constraints, there were times when Marycris skipped taking her medicines, which cost over Php450 a day. A week before Tzu Chi’s aid distribution, Marycris had only been discharged from the hospital after yet another attack.

“If I don’t take my medicines, my body slowly weakens,” Marycris shares. “It could start in my legs and I wouldn’t be able to walk, or it could start in my hands and I wouldn’t be able to move until it spreads throughout my body.”

Despite this, Marycris doesn’t let her condition hinder her from living normally and dreaming a better life for her family. On February 28, she will be graduating from a three-month vocational training course on Housekeeping.

“I just keep praying and I refuse to dwell on my situation. As long as my body allows it, I will continue to live bravely,” Marycris says, wiping her tears.

Meanwhile, apart from cash, the villagers also received ang paos, which are produced from the royalties of Tzu Chi founder Master Cheng Yen’s books. Every year, the Master gives out the red packets as a symbol of blessings and her way of thanking the Tzu Chi members, supporters, donors, and aid beneficiaries.

Touched by Tzu Chi’s help, beneficiaries responded by committing to become donating members. A total of 2, 296 individuals pledged to donate a minimum of one peso every day to help their needy fellowmen. With this, the cycle of goodness in Ormoc will continue.

For details on how you can contribute in Tzu Chi’s endeavors, visit http://tzuchi.org.ph/how-to-help/donation/

  • During the relief program, Tzu Chi volunteers brought joy among the typhoon victims with sign language presentations. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Beneficiaries express their gratitude for the cash assistance they received from Tzu Chi Foundation. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • In addition to cash aid, the typhoon victims also received ang paos, or red packets. Although they have no monetary value, the ang paos symbolize Tzu Chi founder Master Cheng Yen’s blessings and gratitude. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Typhoon victims receive cash assistance according to how big their families are. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Inspired by how Tzu Chi helped them, many of the aid beneficiaries adopted coin banks and committed to save coins daily for charity. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Closing the relief program is a prayer dedicated to those affected by the powerful earthquake in Hualien, Taiwan in February. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Wanting to pay forward Tzu Chi’s help, Anita Tagalog fills out the donation form. She pledges to become a Tzu Chi monthly donating member. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • From being aid beneficiaries, Tropical Storm Urduja victims in Ormoc turn their lives around by pledging to donate regularly in order to help others in need. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Angie Cabulong adopts a coin bank and wishes to pay forward the help she received by saving money daily for charity. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Despite her illness, Marycris Cabulong continues to study. With her perseverance, she will be graduating froma vocational course on February 28. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Marycris Cabulong takes two different kinds of medicines every day to keep her illness at bay. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • After receiving the cash assistance from Tzu Chi, Angie Cabulong goes to the pharmacy to buy her daughter Marycris’ maintenance medicines. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • LAST UPDATED: March 20, 2018 14:03 PM