This was posted by my cousin Miel. It's a letter sent to her by Dee Mills, a GX volunteer currently assigned to Iligan for volunteer work. Hope you could pass it along to, in the words of my cousin, "inspire others to help in their own small ways."
As you may or may not know I have been doing volunteer work here in the Philippines for the past 3 months-working in the southern island of Mindanao, in one of the main cities called Iligan.
It have been staying with the most amazingly loving and extremely hospitable family whilst working in Iligan and the experience has been life changing!
But since the weekend a very drastic change has occurred- 3 bombs went off in Iligan City centre, was an awful scene to have experienced people running through the streets screaming and panic everywhere, and I was one of the unlucky few, out of the volunteers I’m working with, to have been in the centre at the time so I could see the effect it had on others as well as myself.
We were evacuated out of Iligan early to a city 2 hours away from Iligan where we were much safer, as it was rumored to get much worse and it did get a lot worse the 2 days after we left.
We are staying here for 2 more weeks and have been told we are not allowed to enter back into Iligan as we are potential targets if we go back and will endanger our host families more by returning. This was devastating news to us as we have made such close friends and family and with all the work we have achieved there its so upsetting to know we can’t go back and say our proper farewells to the people we have grown to love and also to the city that I am now so attached to.
We are trying to do as much as we can for Iligan even if we cant go back, people are having to evacuate there homes as the rebel troops move closer and a lot of people have been seriously injured in result to the explosions. They are setting up emergency evacuation centers in Iligan and the Red Cross is sending more food supplies as are other disaster response groups within Iligan. My host mum and sister are also working in these evacuation centres, even though they themselves are under threat all the time.
I wanted to ask if you could consider donating even just £ 5 to the Red Cross Philippines, as at least £ 5 when its converted in the Filipino currency, peso’s, is about 450 peso’s.
The money would go towards food, medication for the wounded, supplies and emotional recovery for the people of Iligan.
A 1 kilo sack of rice feeds 4 to 5 people and it’s about 40 peso’s- that is about 50p to us! You can see how big the difference is there and how useful even a few pounds would be! (Obviously if you could give more that would be great!)
You can read more about the situation and information on the group that is attacking Lanao Del Norte on the BBC World website
I wouldn’t be sending this plea is it hadn’t become so important to me, as Iligan was my home and the people there are amazing and it’s terrible what has happened and I want to try and help them out however I can, and hope and pray that the war will end soon.
If you can donate then please see the attached VSO ( Voluntary Services Overseas) website and it will take you 5 mins to do it- it’s that easy!- any money given will be put straight towards the crisis in Iligan.
Guideline for donations:
£1 = 86 peso’s
So the amounts you can give are-
500 peso (£5.80)
1000 peso (£11.60)
2000 peso (£23.25)
2500 peso (£29.00)
Please pass it along, via your blog or through email... every little bit helps!
Crossposted at my Multiply, Strangely Out of Place, and my LJ.