Pope Francis Prays With Typhoon Survivors: “We are not going to weaken in our faith, because Jesus has been there before us.”

Peace and Freedom


Pope Francis points at the statue of Jesus during his speech as he celebrates a Mass in Tacloban, Philippines, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. A rain-drenched but lively crowd wearing yellow and white raincoats welcomed Pope Francis in the typhoon-ravage central Philippine city of Tacloban early Saturday, chanting “Papa Francesco, Viva il Papa!” AP/Alessandra Tarantino

By Camille Diola (philstar.com) |

MANILA, Philippines — Pope Francis pushed through with the Holy Mass celebrated with hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and typhoon survivors in Tacloban City on Saturday despite tropical cyclone “Amang.”

The pope wore a yellow raincoat over his vestments while celebrating Mass amid strong winds. He delivered the homily in his native tongue, Spanish, departing from the prepared message in English.

“If you allow me, I prefer today to speak in Spanish. I have a translator, a good translator. May I do it?” Pope Francis…

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Heaven Sent: Save the Children, World Vision & ChildFund


November 8, 2013 was probably the most terrifying day for all Filipinos. The threat of nature was at its strongest and it goes by the name Super Typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda). The highest intensity of it was felt in the Visayas, specifically Northern Iloilo. It came with howling of winds and heavy rains. And, for a span of more or less 2 hours, people were holding on to their dear lives, hoping and praying that they would still be able to see the sun the next day.

The day ended with weeping adults, dead bodies, devastated homes, and traumatized children.  Thousands of life perished but thousands more were forced to face a new day with losses of loved ones, shelter and peace of mind. In this catastrophe, God has sent angels in the form of non-government and humanitarian organizations.

Save the Children.    World Vision – Rising Sun Association…

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Pope Francis Prays With Filipino Survivors Of Typhoon — moving, impromptu address unites Pope and Filipinos in hope

Peace and Freedom

TACLOBAN CITY, PhilippinesSat Jan 17, 2015 12:50am EST

(Reuters) – An emotional Pope Francis, wearing a plastic poncho over his vestments to protect him from the wind and rain on Saturday, comforted survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, the Philippines’ worst natural disaster that killed about 6,300 people 14 months ago.

“I would like to tell you something close to my heart,” Francis told worshippers as strong wind whipped the seaside area, putting aside his prepared homily to deliver a moving, impromptu address.

“When I saw from Rome that catastrophe, I felt that I had to be here. On those very days I decided to come here. I am here to be with you. Perhaps a little late, I have to say, but…

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Fourteen months after Haiyan: the Pope visits

CELSO DULCE: Experiences in Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction

I was expecting Pope Francis to speak out about disasters, climate change and ecosystem degradation before the estimated 150,000 who gathered at the Tacloban airport. After all, Haiyan is the worst embodiment so far of the deadly and devastating combination of natural hazards, climate change and ecosystem degradation. And the Pope’s position on these issues is well known.

“An economic system centred on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it.

“The system continues unchanged, since what dominates are the dynamics of an economy and a finance that are lacking in ethics. It is no longer man who commands, but money. Cash commands.

“The monopolising of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water, inadequate agro-toxics are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already…

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Papal Visit Philippines 2015 Special: Investing in the Haiyan – Ravaged City of Tacloban

Finance, M.D. thefinancemd.com

This is a post, a part of a series, to commemorate the Pope’s visit to the Philippines on January 15-19 2015.

The highlight of the Pope’s visit in the Philippines was his trip to Tacloban, otherwise known as ground-zero of the Haiyan devastation. On the day the Pope visited Tacloban, another storm hit the city. Interestingly, the storm was named locally as “Amang”, which translates to Father in English. The storm cut the Pope’s Tacloban visit short, killed a woman volunteer, and caused a plane carrying government officials to skid off the runway.

The Pope in a raincoat, as he waves to a crowd after holding a mass in an airport in Tacloban City, Philippines on January 17, 2015. Image from Damir Sagolj/Reuters

The Pope’s visit gives residents of Tacloban hope and inspiration as they continue to rebuild their city.

There’s another thing that Tacloban needs — Investment. As…

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Lessons from Haiyan: five steps to improve accountability to affected people

ngo performance

Humanitarian Exchange #63 coverI spent a fascinating morning this week at the launch of a special edition of Humanitarian Exchange on The Typhoon Haiyan Response in the Philippines. (Video to follow soon.)

We discussed how aid agencies can be more accountable to the people they serve. (“Accountability to Affected People”, AAP, in the jargon. Of which more below.) In general, this means enabling them to influence what we do.

Everyone agrees it is a good idea. Or even a foundation of good practice. In theory, it ensures that the assistance we provide is relevant and respectful to the people we serve.

In the Haiyan Response, there’s plenty of evidence that we’re getting better at it. And also that there’s a way further to go. (See also CDAC’s material on Community Feedback Forms: practical, powerful and deserving replication.)

Plan, World Vision & IOM are collaborating on a project to trial common tools for…

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Pope Francis on Haiyan