On November 8th, 2013, just seven days after the official Typhoon Season ended, Super Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as “Yolanda”) tore through the Southern Philippines. When it made landfall, it was stated that the strength of the wind with gusts as strong as 380 kmph was greater than that the force it takes to get an airplane off the ground.
Although the women of our group may come from over 35 different countries all over the globe, one thing they all have in common is an affection for our most gracious host country, the Philippines.
Members at the boat loading.
While Alabang Ladies International Group, Inc. (ALIG) is already dedicated to supporting several local charities in our “neighborhood” of Muntinlupa City, many ALIG members were watching the devastation happening on the news and hoping to find a way to help. The photos of the resulting devastation have now been seen worldwide. After seeing that one of the most requested items after food and water was body bags, ALIG members were desperate to find a way to help.
Finally, ALIG has established a unique opportunity to provide donations that would be distributed to the worst hit areas. A former and now repatriated ALIG member, Eli Fossum and her husband Stein enabled this to happen. All the way from Norway, Stein contacted Maraia Bookless, the ALIG Director of Charities on the Monday evening following the typhoon’s landfall. Stein (who works for the Norwegian Maritime Foundation overseeing the Norwegian Training Center [NTC] in Manila) advised Maraia that he would be able to take some donated good from us to the devastated areas. NTC originally had a training scheduled in Manila, but planned to reroute their ship to deliver supplies and aid directly to Leyte, Samar and other impacted areas. They would be supported in this effort for distribution by the U.N., Philippine officials, and WHO.
Donations ready to go!
Maraia made an urgent plea for assistance to ALIG members who in turn spread the word globally to their friends and family abroad. In less than five hours, the ALIG Board of Directors donated over 50,000 pesos from its own emergency fund and raised an additional P 167,000 pesos.
The ALIG Charity team immediately researched the recommended goods, purchased them and had them delivered almost 300 boxes of supplies in a caravan of seven vehicles to the Port of Manila in time to make the NTC ship’s departure.
ALIG members purchasing supplies.
Now that there is an established and trusted method of distribution, ALIG plans to continue collecting donations for ongoing relief for Super Typhoon Yolanda Victims. ALIG anticipates that our next shipment will depart the last week of November.
As we well know, entire villages have been obliterated and there are millions in need of help. Thus the recovery process will be long and aid will be needed for many months to come, we welcome any assistance.
Efforts are ongoing and we will continue to work with trusted sources. Paypal donations can be made care of our Director of Finance, Ramona Misselwitz: