Archbishop Villegas: It is important for donors to listen to the needs of typhoon victims

January 29, 2014 11:59 pm 

By Ferdinand G. Patinio

MANILA, Jan. 29 (PNA) — "Donors should listen to the needs of the calamity victims."

This was emphasized Wednesday by the head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), saying that those who are helping survivors of super typhoon Yolanda should also listen to their needs.

CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas said that while "it is important for donors to provide the needs of those affected by the storm, it is also equally important to hear them."

Villegas cited the request of some people in Catarman, Samar, which was visited by priests who were asking formaterials such as interwoven splits of bamboo (sawali) and palm leaves (pawid) to build their homes.

“If the people were asking for that kind of housing then we accommodate them. They should be respectful because when we reach out in compassion it should not be a relationship of donor and beneficiary,” he said in an interview.

He noted that these people have been traumatized after seeing their loved ones who died after being struck by flying roofs during the height of the storm since the tragedy befallen them is still fresh in their mind.

“The bottomline is please listen to the needs of the people because we might have great ideas but they have feelings of devastation or even trauma and therefore we should be respectful of that because it will take time to heal those pains,” the Lingayen-Dagupan prelate explained.

He added, ‘It should be a relationship of equals that we are brothers and therefore I am listening to you not from a higher level but at the same level because we are both wounded, we are both needy.”

Relief efforts from the Church, local and international donors have shifted to rehabilitation efforts to help those affected by Yolanda to rebuild their lives.

Aside from providing shelters, these groups are providing livelihood projects to help them earn a living.

Thousands of people were killed while thousands were injured and left homeless when the super typhoon hit Eastern Visayas, particularly Tacloban City last November 8. (PNA)



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