‘Yolanda’ survivors get free space in Iloilo mall

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ILOILO City, September 17, 2014—Yolanda survivors in Iloilo City who earn their income selling goods can now do it inside a mall after its owners allowed them to use a portion of the establishment for free.

Marymart Mall, one of the most popular shopping centers in Iloilo, has given Caritas Manila free space where local survivors of typhoon Yolanda, with the help of the Church’s social services arm projects, Segunda Mana and Caritas Margins, can sell their products.

According to Fr. Anton CT Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila, he had personally received from the unnamed mall owners their donation of 160 square meters of store space in a recent meeting.

“I thank the mall owners for their generosity,” he said over Radyo Veritas.

Many typhoon Yolanda survivors and their families continue to struggle to make ends meet. (Photo: CBCP News)

Segunda Mana and Caritas Margins are projects started by Caritas Manila.

Segunda Mana (“secondhand’ in Filipino) aims to raise funds by collecting items—either used or unused—no longer needed but have value and may still be sold.

Caritas Margins enables Caritas Manila to market the products of its poor partners, in this case Yolanda survivors, as well as paintings by inmates it supports under the Caritas Restorative Justice Program.

It helps its urban poor partners and families of prisoners augment their income and improve their quality of life.

Proceeds from the sales of the Caritas Margins products support the Caritas scholarship program, the Youth and Servant Leadership and Education Program.

Pascual shared that this will be Caritas Manila’s first venture outside Metro Manila.

The priest, who also heads the Church-run Radyo Veritas, reported his office is coordinating closely with the Social Action Center (SAC) directors of the various dioceses and archdioceses of Panay over the feasibility of teaching Yolanda survivors how to make dried fish, squids, and similar processed foods, which can be good sources of income. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

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