Singapore’s humanitarian NGO Mercy Relief (MR) returned to typhoon-stricken Leyte over the festive period to share the joy of Christmas through a day of activities and performances, accompanied with a fresh food programme for about 1,400 children and elderly in Catholic-populated Tanauan.  The event which was celebrated in high spirit was graced by the municipality’s Vice Mayor, Dr. Ronald Flores. The Christmas activities continued the following day as MR’s 5-man team and local volunteers from Citizens’ Disaster Response Centre and Leyte Centre for Development distributed food packs, school kits and seedlings to 1,000 families in Cabuynan village.  The relief items were personally procured and packed in Manila by the Mercy Overseas Volunteer Expeditions (MOVE) team from Singapore Polytechnic’s CD Lionhearter.

MR Chief Executive Goh Chin Siang shared, “It is indeed heartening to see so many happy children and smiling faces throughout the Christmas activities.  All the volunteers agreed unanimously that the small sacrifice of spending the Christmas away from home was well worth it.” The 7th team was in the Philippines since 16th December to carry out aid delivery to Antique and Aklan provinces.  Construction materials and food packs worth SGD75,000 were distributed to about 9,000 affected people.  To date, MR has provided more than SGD450,000 worth of relief supplies which includes food relief packs, crop seeds, clean water, hygiene essentials and construction materials for shelter to typhoon-stricken communities across the provinces of Bohol, Leyte, Aklan, Palawan, Negros Occidental, Capiz, Iloilo, and Antique in the Philippines.

CE Goh further explained, “MR has ended its acute relief operation but would continue to work closely with our ground partners and reassess the available funds to plan ahead for the rehabilitation and reconstruction phase.”

  

(left and centre) A relief truck delivering aid to 1,500 affected families in the municipality of Batan. (right) MR’s board of director BG (V) Goh Kee Nguan joined the response team to distribute the relief items.

  

Local volunteers and the MR team implemented various activities and games to entertain the children of Tanauan and keep them in high spirit.

 

Christmas eve was celebrated with games and performances, Christmas carols and distribution of fresh cooked food for the locals.

 

Christmas activities continued the following day with relief distribution of food packs, school kits and seedlings.

  

(left) A boy observing a mass grave by the roadside. (centre and right) Scenes of devastation across Leyte are still apparent after almost 2 months since the typhoon struck the island.

A memorial for those who have perished in Cabuynan was erected through the support of MR and the barangay officials

* MR has been implementing relief and development projects in five areas across the Philippines – Bicol Region, Metro Manila, Mindanao, Zambales and Visayas – continuously since 2006 as part of its disaster risk reduction efforts in line with the Hyogo Framework and AADMER. Click here to read more on “MR in the Philippines”.

About Mercy Relief

Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance. 

In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal,  Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.

For more information, you may call us at 6514 6322 or email corporateaffairs@mercyrelief.org