The MSC community in the Philippines have been working tirelessly in recent times to help families whose lives are being quite literally swept away in an instant by ravaging typhoons.
Super-Typhoon Rolly, the world’s most powerful tropical typhoon in 2020, struck the island of Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines, on November 1st. The Bicol region was the worst hit, with more than 800,000 people left in urgent need of emergency aid as the super-typhoon wrecked untold devastation on its relentless path. While Super-Typhoon Rolly raged, volcanic mudflow from the active Mount Mayon buried over 300 houses in the areas surrounding the volcano.
The MSC Mission Office in the Philippines immediately mounted an emergency response, raising 321,721 Philippine pesos, or approximately €5,500, over a period of 15 days. Working with local volunteers and mission partners the Dominican Daughters of the Immaculate Mother Sisters (OP-DDIM), the Mission Response team distributed desperately needed emergency relief packs to more than 800 families spread across six communities in the Albay province. “The beneficiaries were so grateful for the support of the generous people had given to them,” writes the official website for the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in the Philippines.
On November 16th 2020, Typhoon Ulysses tore through the main island of Luzon, following in the footsteps of the earlier super-typhoon that had already caused unimaginable damage at the beginning of the month. More than one million families were left devastated by the typhoon, as homes, farms, and entire livelihoods were reduced to ruin by torrential rain, mudslides, and ferocious winds.
The areas most badly affected included the Metro Manila (Marikina area), Rizal, and the Cagayan Valley, where homes were demolished by raging floods.
The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Philippines Province immediately mounted a campaign to provide emergency aid to those whose lives had been shattered, and to help affected families and communities rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the typhoon.
Through donations collected by the MSC Mission Office Philippines, Inc., the MSC community in the Philippines were able to send care packages of essential items to people in the most badly-hit regions. Boxes of groceries, essential items of clothing, and over 400 sacks of rice were included in these emergency care packages, which were distributed to MSC mission partners, the Office of the Vice-President (OVP) and the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP). With the help of these mission partners, these aid items were sent in relief distributions to the most affected areas of the country.
In February 2021, the country was battered by violent weather conditions once again, as Typhoon Auring hit. The MSC missionary community in the Philippines continues in its work to bring relief to those who find themselves in severe difficulty as a result of the typhoons, with the Duvog-Ambit Project in Tandag, Surigao del Sur, currently bringing MSCs and the Diocese of Tandag together to help those in need.
The official website for the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in the Philippines posted a message of gratitude to all who contributed to their recent fundraising endeavours for victims of Typhoon Ulysses:
“We would like to thank all the people who took part of this mission especially to all the donors and generous people who helped us raise funds for the project. And to our mission partners, the OVP and AMRSP, thank you for organizing and facilitating the relief distribution activity. In behalf of the MSC Mission Office and all the beneficiaries, ‘Maraming Salamat Po!’”