Home Special Report Disaster Response for Typhoon Yolanda Relief aid reaches fire survivors in Caloocan

Relief aid reaches fire survivors in Caloocan

Friday, 28 March 2014 06:6 AM
Gratitude is shown in the faces of the fire survivors as they thank Tzu Chi Foundation through hand gestures taught by the volunteers. A total of 370 fire-stricken families benefitted from a relief distribution conducted by the Buddhist organization in Caloocan last March 28. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

Story Highlights

  • Last March 28, Tzu Chi volunteers responded to the needs of the survivors of a large fire in Caloocan City. A total of 370 families have received material aid and were given hope with the love shown by the volunteers.
  • The spirit of Great Love was demonstrated when a Christian group graciously lent their church to Tzu Chi volunteers for the relief mission.

In the third weekend of March, the news was abuzz as three large fires hit the cities of Caloocan, Pasig and Manila. In a residential area in Calaanan Street, Caloocan City, a blaze of unknown origin had rendered almost 400 families homeless. The survivors, left destitute, had taken temporary refuge in a nearby covered court.

Hearing about the plight of their fellowmen, Tzu Chi volunteers had immediately visited the disaster site after the incident. Yet, they weren’t able to get a copy of the official list of affected families. Undaunted, the volunteers persisted coming back until last March 28 they have successfully distributed claiming stubs to the fire-stricken families. On the same day, a relief activity was conducted at Cross World Kalookan Church. Run by a Born-again Christian group, the religious community had graciously lent their place of worship for Tzu Chi’s mission.

“When I heard that Tzu Chi will conduct their relief distribution for the victims of fire, we opened our doors to them. We are aware of Tzu Chi’s missions and as followers of Christ, we should help make a noble pursuit like this happen,” explains Pastor Rey Isaac.

Prior to the distribution, Tzu Chi volunteers staged a program where they introduced the Buddhist organization to the fire survivors. Established in 1966 by Dharma Master Cheng Yen in the impoverished east coast of Taiwan, the foundation is dedicated to the field of charity, medicine, education, environmental protection and the promotion of humanistic values and community volunteerism. Today, it has 57 branches all over the globe and its humanitarian work is both a means of helping the needy and educating the rich.

In the actual distribution among the items given were bags containing eating utensils, a casserole, sleeping mat, blanket, a pair of slippers, a pack of used clothes, a can of mushroom, and 10-kilo sack of rice.

One of the recipients, Maura Reyes, says the aid she had received from Tzu Chi will be of big help given her family’s present ordeal. A single mother, Reyes raises her only child with the small income from being a local midwife. In an interview, she says that she is thankful that Tzu Chi had visited them.

“Right now I have no idea where to start, but we thank you Tzu Chi for giving us hope,” she furthers, adding that the love that Tzu Chi volunteers have shown them and the prayers they received greatly moved her.

The distribution benefitted a total of 370 families.

Last Updated: Friday, 28 March 2014 06:6 AM

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