Dubai school holds fund raiser for Typhoon Haiyan victims


DUBAI // Pupils, teachers and staff at The Philippine School are spearheading a nine-day drive to raise funds to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

The school has appealed for donations in cash or in kind to help provide relief after the storm wrecked havoc in the country on November 8. More than 4,000 people were killed and millions left homeless.

“We want to help in our own little ways as pupils,” said Daynee Roque, 16. “Even if we are far away from our country, we want to be able to help them,” said the Grade 10 pupil.

Alovette Rellon, 16, said: “We, as pupils, are united in this tragedy and are eager to help our countrymen.

”Pupils spent yesterday sorting through hundreds of blankets, clothes, medicines, cans of food, biscuits, packets of rice, flour and noodles that had been donated by parents.

The school has also requested the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai’s education regulator, to appeal to other schools in the emirate to help before the fund-raising drive ends on December 5.

Pupils from the Deira International School handed over a cheque for a Dh27,000 while The Philippine School raised Dh11,300 from its pupils. It is hoped that more than Dh100,000 can be collected by the end of the campaign“There is a campaign for the students in the school and for outside the school,” said Richard Zulueta, the pupil activities coordinator.

“We ask the parents and students to donate in cash or kind. The cash donated will be used to pay the cargo company that will take the relief items to the Philippines.

”The school has also printed T-shirts, which are selling for Dh25.

Mr Zulueta said money raised by other schools would be handed over to Red Crescent authorities. He said the school preferred cash donations.“If we have goods, we have to pay for the delivery. Besides, it will take 30 to 35 days to reach the Philippines. If we have cash, a team will go to Philippines and buy goods and deliver the items directly.

”Pupils hoped more schools would respond positively to the campaign.“It is great if many students can come,” said Joven Dolorito, 14. “The more the donations, the more the help. The money will be used to rebuild the lives of victims.

”A five-member team from the school will visit areas of the Philippines hit hard by the typhoon to deliver the aid next month.

“We will go to the Philippines during the Christmas holiday,” said Jocelyn Sollano, the school’s principal. “We want to hand the goods to the victims directly. We want to make sure the boxes reach the right people.

”She hoped that the money from the campaigns would be used to build schools and classrooms.“Our suggestion to Red Crescent is to build schools. We are teachers, and as an educational institute we hope children can go back to school.

”The Philippine School is hoping that a cargo company will step in and offer to take the goods at reduced rates from Dubai to Tacloban, one of the worst-hit cities.Government charities and aid agencies in the UAE have already offered assistance.

The International Humanitarian City in Dubai said more than 1,500 tonnes of relief had been sent from its warehouses. An aircraft has delivered relief items to Cebu, Manila, Leyte and Tacloban, where operational hubs have been set up to arrange distribution.

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