Fire devastates Filipino families
September 2, 2010
The Philippines (highlighted in green)
MANILA, Philippines — A fire has left about 300 families homeless in the city of Navotas in the metro Manila area, according to preliminary reports.
CFCA staff has identified 73 families so far that have members sponsored by CFCA. No casualties have been reported from those in the CFCA community.
The fire, which occurred around 7 p.m. on Aug. 26, spread rapidly before being contained, said Marivic Ihap, Quezon project coordinator.
Trisha Pitts, CFCA project director for the Philippines, said crowded city conditions cause fires that affect wide swaths of the population and present major obstacles for firefighters.
“A fire will take out a whole neighborhood, a whole community, before being contained,” she said.
Sponsored members and their families in Navotas are part of CFCA’s Quezon project, which has begun helping the families with immediate shelter in a covered courtyard, a school, relatives’ homes and the CFCA office in Navotas. Staff members are also taking care of immediate needs by providing water, meals, clothing and blankets.
In addition, the neighborhood community groups formed by sponsored members, known as PamBuhay groups, are collecting used clothes and providing play sessions for sponsored children and their siblings.
Ihap said the project is also addressing the families’ emotional needs by sending psychologists to assess trauma. All the Filipino projects have highly trained social workers who often work in recovery efforts after catastrophes occur, Pitts said.
“They need financial help, but they are well prepared to deal with disasters,” she said.