Population:93.26 millionLiteracy Rate:95%Religion: Roman Catholic (80.9%)
Since 1950, Salesian Missions has been providing crucial help in the Philippines—working with at-risk youth, impoverished families, and disaster victims. Today, in the wake of a 7.1-magnitude earthquake and the devastation of Super Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda), Salesians have mobilized all resources and efforts to aid the victims of these disasters. According to United Nations estimates, 11.5 million people were affected by Haiyan, which struck on November 8, 2013. Close to one million are displaced. More than half a million are homeless, living in the streets among the debris. And 2.5 million people are in desperate need of food assistance.
Provide Disaster Relief
Salesians’ response to Super Typhoon Haiyan was instant. Because most Salesian facilities on the islands sustained little damage, they immediately opened schools and churches as temporary shelters, and began distributing food. Millions of victims urgently need the most basic necessities to survive—food, clean water, shelter and medical attention. For this reasons, all efforts remain focused on providing direct, life-saving aid.
To date, Salesians, students and volunteers in the Southern Philippines Province (FIS) have assembled 30,000 food packages for distribution to victims. A community of SalesianSisters along the central coast road in Cebu has taken in 800 people. And, in coordination with U.S. and international relief partners, efforts are now underway to source and purchase additional food, tents (to shelter displaced victims), medication and warm clothing.
For updates on immediate and ongoing needs in the Philippines, as well as progress being made, please visit salesianmissions.org/typhoon.
More Missions in Philippines
In the province of Cebu, people who live in the remote mountain regions rely on local clinics for their healthcare. However, transporting of medical supplies to the facilities is difficult due to the mountainous terrain.
Since 1950, Salesian Missions has worked with the people of Cebu. Recently, medical equipment was secured and delivered to the clinic, infirmary and hospital – all in need of supplies.
In the Philippines, drop-out rates double as children reach secondary school, according to UNICEF, and there are more than 11 million out-of-school youth.
Salesian Missions’ Tuloy Foundation provides another chance for at-risk youth to succeed in school. Street children are able to take part in an alternative learning module with five levels of instruction in six subjects. Children progress from first grade through high school. Older youth pursue vocational training in a variety of technologies, including automotive, electrical, welding and woodworking.
Thousands of street children have rebuilt their lives with Salesian Missions Tuloy Foundation’s programs. Since it began in 1993 with 12 children, it has grown into a comprehensive program with multiple facilities – all focused specifically on the needs of at-risk youth.
For example, youth who are just coming off the streets receive food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, psycho-social interventions, recreation and education and skills training. They also take part in educational programs, including vocational training to develop job skills. Students undergo on the job training in sponsor companies.
In addition to residential and educational facilities, youth can take part in the Tuloy Nature Therapy Center. For youth who are used to life in the street, the 4.7 hectare retreat introduced them to the beauty of nature. The Center also offers them the chance to learn about farming and agriculture, and the livestock and vegetable garden help supply food.
As the needs of street children grow, so do the programs – ensuring every child has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.
Today in the Philippines, three specialized training centers are teaching youngsters modern agricultural skills – as well as how to use and maintain light machinery that make filling, planting and harvesting more efficient. The results are encouraging: almost 60% of graduates succeed in finding employment and 25% of graduates run their own farms.
In addition to residential and educational facilities, youth can take part in the Tuloy Nature Therapy Center. For youth who are used to life in the street, the 4.7 hectare retreat introduced them to the beauty of nature. The Center also offers them the chance to learn about farming and agriculture, and the livestock and vegetable garden help supply food. For example, students such as Fernando take part in turning the village’s waste into compost for their vegetable and flower gardens. He is proud of the beautiful leafy greens produced in their gardens. He even enjoys having them in his salad for dinner.
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