Filipino community, provincial government pledge help for Philippines
Published Thursday, November 7, 2013 10:27PM CST
Last Updated Sunday, November 10, 2013 10:37AM CST
Members of Winnipeg’s Filipino are banding together to help people in the Philippines affected by the super typhoon that devastated the country on Friday. Now, the provincial government has pledged its support.
The Filipino Seniors Group of Winnipeg is having a fundraising drive on Saturday and Sunday to collect funds to help those in the disaster zone. It's happening in conjunction with other fundraising efforts at the Philippines Centre of Manitoba.
The Manitoba government pledged $100,000 for disaster relief. "The lives of thousands of families have been forever changed by what is being called one of the most powerful typhoons to ever hit landfall," Premier Greg Selinger said in a news release.
"Our thoughts are with those families today as they face such unimaginable loss and devastation."
Typhoon Haiyan is being called the strongest storm on the planet this year. The Red Cross estimates the storm killed 10,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands more.
“Back home, it’s so unfortunate. Losing lives and property, it’s so hard, so hard to take,” said Aida Champagne with the Manitoba Filipino Street Festival.
Champagne says she has family in the Philippines, and is constantly in contact with them. Gilbert Balagtas, with the Tribo Sugbo Association, is also glued to his phone. “I just got a message from my family back home that they’re evacuating people right now,” he said.
This typhoon comes after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the Philippines on Oct. 15of this year, killing over 200 people and crumbling buildings.
“The earthquake just happened and we’re still building up there. And the typhoon is coming, so there’s more help that they need right now,” said Balagtas.
Balagatas and Champagne met with representatives from the Filipino Seniors Group of Winnipeg and Pangasinan Group of Manitoba. Together with a few locals, they sat down to figure out how to aide people in the Philippines.
The group was already planning a dinner and dance to raise money for earthquake relief. They say they will likely incorporate typhoon relief into that event.
Tickets are $10 and donations will be taken at the event, which is on November 29th at the Filipino Seniors Hall.
Champagne says Filipino people are strong, and will be able to weather the storm.
“We’ll join forces and we’re going to tackle this disaster after disaster with big smiles on our face. It’s going to be hard but we’ll manage to stand up,” she said.