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‘Help one another’ – bishop to ‘Yolanda’ survivors

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SALCEDO, Eastern Samar, June 23, 2015 – With the work of rebuilding continuing two years after super typhoon Yolanda, a bishop calls on survivors to lend each other a helping hand.

"God works in mysterious ways," thus said Bolognan Bishop Crispin Varquez at the turn-over of some 6,875 homes to beneficiaries at simple ceremonies on June 22, 2015 in Salcedo, Eastern Samar. He said more people would need livelihood opportunities to address their concerns. To his left is CRS Country Representative Joseph Curry. (Melo M. Acuña)

“We ought to help one another recover for everyone to be dignified human beings,” said Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez in his homily during the blessing and turn-over of 6,875 shelter facilities to Yolanda survivors, on June 22.

“We should be concerned how we can boost others to do better, a Christian way of dealing with one another,” he further said as he called on those present to use God-given resources to uplift people from poverty.

Concern for others

Varquez said the beneficiaries of the said houses, funded by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), have much to be thankful for with the kind of help they received since super typhoon Yolanda’s devastation was beyond everyone’s expectations.

The prelate called on the new home owners to show concern for those who have yet to recover from the onslaught of Yolanda which claimed thousands of lives and billions in government and private property.

He added they will truly be happier to see others rising from the strong typhoons that hit Eastern Samar.

The prelate said there is no reason for typhoon victims to go hungry with all the God-given resources available, noting “within a year and seven months, we now see people slowly rising.”

Varquez added: “God truly works in mysterious ways.”

Productive homeowners

He also lauded the CRS’ efforts to build new homes and to assist residents in acquiring livelihood skills.

“There is no reason for us to go hungry but we all have to be productive,” he further said.

CRS Country Representative Joseph Curry said the homes built were all products of the joint efforts of their technical team and that of the government, with NGOs coming up with different designs and components for a strong house.

“We have to build resilient communities,” Curry said, noting that Samar was one of the areas worst hit by typhoon Yolanda.

Climate change threat

He said Pope Francis in his latest encyclical “Laudato Si” calls on everyone to prepare for climate change.

“While we celebrate recovery, we have to look forward to stronger typhoons brought about by climate change,” he added.

Aida Vidal of Development and Peace, a Canada-based non-government organization stressed that their thrust is to provide shelter to communities severely affected by natural calamities.

“We at Development and Peace responded to [those] needs,” she said.

The certificates of donation were received by the municipal mayors on behalf of the beneficiaries.

Over a hundred residents underwent skills training provided by TESDA in cooperation with the Arteche National Agricultural School. (Melo M. Acuña/CBCPNews)


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