Students organize drive for Typhoon Haiyan relief


By Carolyn Lucas-Zenk
West Hawaii Today

The day after Super Typhoon Haiyan — one of the most powerful storms ever recorded — devastated the Philippines, the English Language Learners at Kealakehe Intermediate School pondered the heavy damage inflicted on the many islands in the archipelago nation and their uncertain future.

Their substitute teacher — the school’s ELL coordinator Myfanwy Brunner — led the discussion, asking the students to consider how they would feel in a similar predicament and what they would like or need to cope. The students began making lists of items.

Some also shared their knowledge and experiences of living in island communities where typhoons are commonplace. A few had only moved to Hawaii from the Philippines about a year ago.Soon Brunner, ELL teachers Maurianne Nohejl and Kim Kozak, and the school’s 92 ELL students were brainstorming ideas to help the Philippines. They came up with the idea to collect clothing, school supplies and dental items.

The cause coincides perfectly with Kealakehe’s vision statement, “Relationships are the heart of all learning,” as well as its mission to “nurture the mind and spirit of our students.” This effort has also provided an opportunity to explore empathy, compassion and altruism with pupils — one that shows schoolchildren who have a genuine wish to contribute that they can keep this intention alive and make it a reality, Brunner said.

Monday morning, ELL students happily packed boxes of donated items, as well as made origami animals and cards. They wrote messages of hope, encouragement and support.When seventh-grader David Falefa, 13, heard the news of Super Typhoon Haiyan last November, he was struck by the death toll, the number of people missing, and the millions affected.“So many lost so much and not just stuff,” he said. “I kept thinking what if this happened here to my family, what would I do? I would help. I would not let a nation die.”

This effort was a way to get involved. He appreciated the support from his teachers, school and community, all of which encourage the students to try to make a difference, even if it’s just a small one. The best part, he said, is how the effort allows his peers to work together and learn more about other cultures while also helping another nation. He hopes the recipients feel “surprised, happy and blessed.”Seventh-grader Sepe Palik, 13, felt sad about the situation in the Philippines and wanted to help “make them peace.” Her grandmother has always talked about the importance of helping those in need and Palik saw this effort as a chance to do just that.“If we didn’t help each other out then we wouldn’t leave with peace and there wouldn’t be the word love in this world,” she wrote in her card.

Palik said one’s race, culture and everyday differences don’t matter; “only heart” was most important. “This shows how we care and want to help make the world a better place,” she added.

Everything will be delivered in June by participants in University of the Nations’ Crisis Response Discipleship Training School and Youth With A Mission, who will be providing physical, emotional and spiritual needs to those affected by the disaster.

University of the Nations and YWAM got involved with this drive because their members regularly tutor ELL students on Wednesdays. A few members also further motivated and inspired the students by sharing how they traveled to the Philippines immediately following the typhoon to help provide medical care, food, clean water technology, solar, and other humanitarian aid.Aurelio “Rheo” Loseo has been serving the poor and needy in his home country for roughly 30 years. He’s the former YWAM Philippines national director and is helping lead rebuilding efforts in the Philippines with University of the Nations. He said University of the Nations and YWAM have made a long-term commitment toward helping those affected by the typhoon, with teams being sent every quarter. There are also plans to set up a donation distribution center in Tacloban, the hardest hit city, and to build 100 homes.

Other key contributors and partners in this drive were Dr. Douglas Dierenfield and Dr. Gabriel Uy who gave dental supplies; Robert J. Clancey Limited, a 61-year-old aloha apparel company, that donated piles of new clothing; and Renee Puou, a friend of the ELL teachers, who transported the donated goods from Oahu to the school. The ELL students and teachers repeatedly expressed gratitude to all donors, saying this wouldn’t have happened without them.Donations are still being collected and those interested in contributing may contact Brunner at the school.

To learn more about the University of the Nations and its missions, go to See more at:

Left behind


No Big Deal


After the typhoon in the Philippines last November, millions were left homeless.
Twelve-year-old Adrian is one of them.

He is living in the Tacloban bunkhouse created for survivors who lost everything.
How he found himself there is nothing short of amazing.

To understand his story, we have to go back in time.

NOVEMBER 7 was a perfect day on Leyte Island – bright and sunny, a small breeze.

For Adrian, it was a perfect play day – one meant for climbing trees. He scrambled up and down giant mango trees and plucked ripe fruit with his friends – four children who lived in the big house next door.

Together, they filled baskets on the ground below.

“It’s one of my favourite things to do,” Adrian says.

When a typhoon warning was issued that day, people along the coastline were urged to evacuate. Police circled Adrian’s neighbourhood and told families to…

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Tulong Na, Tabang Na, Tayo Na, Takbo Na

mind of a traveller


Event Details

Event Date : Sunday, 4 May 2014
Time : 5:30am to 10.00am (TBC)
Race Owner : DZMM
Race Organizer : RunRio Inc.
Charity Partners : Typhoon Yolanda victims
Target Participants : 10,000++ registered runners
Entry Fee : 5k – PhP 550 (early bird); PhP 630
(regular); w/ 20% discount for Senior Citizens)
Start & End Point : Start at 34th Street
Distance : 5k only

Registration Details

Online registration period is from March 17 to April 20 only. Delivery of race kits will start on March 31 .

Log on to to register.

EARLY REGISTRATION: March 17 to April 4 ONLY!!! Special Rate is PhP 550!
REGULAR REGISTRATION: April 5 onwards at PhP 630

Regular In-store registration period is March 24 onwards at the following venues:
R.O.X. – Level 2 R.O.X. Bldg. Bonifacio High Street, Taguig City (12nn–8pm, Tel # 8564638)
Toby’s SM Mall of Asia –…

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Let’s be modern day heroes

Understanding Vulnerabilities

Mega Cebu Blog

In the Understanding Choices Forum last April 4, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) – Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center (EADSC) emphasized the need for the public to better understand and prepare for disaster-related vulnerabilities.

The forum, titled “Understanding Vulnerabilities,” highlighted how to better understand and prepare in the midst of physical, economic, environmental, and social vulnerabilities.

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Eskinita Episode 4: Bagyong Yolanda, Bagyong Gobyerno

Aid still pours for Yolanda victims


NEGROS OCCIDENTAL , March 19 ( PIA 6) – – Help, like hope, springs eternal.

A P25-million aid for the victims of typhoon Yolanda in this province is coming in through Concern Worldwide.

Concern Worldwide, a humanitarian organization with its head office in Dublin, Ireland is going to 24 countries worldwide, among them is the Philippines to bring hope and aid to the vulnerable.

Philip Miller, head of Concern Worldwide said they do humanitarian response in times of need during calamities or help people in vulnerable areas prepare for disasters.

In Negros Occidental, Miller called on Governor Alfredo G. Marañon Jr. and related to him the organization’s intent to help 11,200 families who were victims of Yolanda in the province.

Concern Worldwide is spending an aid of P25-million for these victims.

“The P25-million aid is programmed based on the proposal prepared by the provincial government,” Miller said in an interview…

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Minister Paradis issues statement on Canadians’ donations to typhoon Haiyan relief efforts

Pinoy Edmonton News

Statement by Minister Paradis on Canadians’ donations of more than $85 million to Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts

The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Cooperation and La Francophonie, recently issued the following statement:

“Last November, Typhoon Haiyan—locally known as Yolanda—tore through the Philippines, setting off landslides, knocking out power in several provinces, and cutting off communications in the country’s central region. More than 6,000 people were killed and 16 million were affected. It was a tragedy of unimaginable proportions, even for a country accustomed to dealing with tropical storms.

“From the onset, Canada played a leading role in international relief efforts. The day the typhoon struck, our Government provided funding to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help launch relief operations. Within 24 hours, we had committed additional funding to humanitarian partners on the ground, so they could quickly distribute food, water, medicine, shelter, hygiene…

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05.04.14 | Takbo sa Pagbangon ng Leyte

The Real Survivors, The Hero Within