PALO, Leyte, Dec. 9, 2015 –In a bid to underline their commitment to climate change action, the Archdiocese of Palo’s Relief and Rehabilitation Unit (Caritas Palo) opened on Wednesday, Nov. 9, its Christmas Bazaar and Trade Fair, featuring products made by Typhoon “Yolanda” (International name: Haiyan) survivors in Leyte.
“We at the Catholic Church believe in organic farming, and sustainable agriculture and livelihoods managed by empowered communities. This bazaar is just one way of caring for the environment by promoting organic products that reduce carbon footprints,” explained Fr. Al Cris Badana, Caritas Palo director.
Themed “Caritas Cares,” the bazaar which is set to run from Dec. 9 until Dec. 11 at the Palo Cathedral grounds, showcases mostly organic and local products from 15 Yolanda-affected communities in the towns of Palo, Mac Arthur, Sta. Fe, Dulag, and Alangalang.
According to the priest, the ongoing activity is in line with the Archdiocese’s climate change action as articulated in a formal Climate Change Declaration issued last week.
Badana expressed hope that the bazaar would help provide opportunities for ‘Yolanda’ survivors by linking their products to potential markets as well as by strengthening their microenterprises.
More than rehabilitation
To date, the Catholic Church in Palo in tandem with NASSA/Caritas Philippines and Caritas Internationalis, has been helping local communities affected by Yolanda.
It has provided livelihood, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene, and even ecosystem rehabilitation, capacity-building, and disaster risk reduction.
In terms of livelihood, their support to Yolanda-affected communities in the province totaled to Php 19.9 million in two years.
Just last week, Caritas Palo signed a Climate Change Declaration and Community-Managed Disaster Risk Reduction (CMDRR) convergence together with no less than 200 “Yolanda” survivors in solidarity with the Climate Justice talks in Paris, France. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)