CFCA news

CFCA families affected by Philippine floods

August 20, 2013

MANILA, Philippines — Torrential rains flooded the Philippine capital of Manila and outlying islands for the last three days, forcing schools, businesses and government offices to shut down, and sending thousands to emergency shelters.

A CFCA staff member checks on the safety of sponsored friends.
Malou Navio, coordinator of CFCA’s Antipolo project,
checks on the safety of sponsored friends.

CFCA serves more than 30,000 children and elderly through the Manila project and nearby Quezon and Antipolo projects. Local staffers working with families reported that at least 2,200 families have been evacuated to nearby schools and churches; however, the full impact won’t be known until floodwaters recede.

News reports said at least eight people have died in the flooding; however, there have been no reports of deaths or severe injuries among CFCA sponsored children or elderly.

“We are coordinating with our community group leaders to monitor the safety and status of families in all areas,” said Risa Verena, Manila project coordinator. “We advised them to be alert of transferring families to the safe areas as early as possible.”

In the Antipolo project, fathers of CFCA sponsored children are responding to the disaster. The ERPAT fathers have been assisting with disaster aid since their formation in 2004. (ERPAT stands for Empowerment and Reaffirmation of Paternal Abilities.)

“The staff and the ERPAT Disaster Management Team are making rounds to see situations of families in the affected communities and evacuation centers,” said Malou Navio, coordinator of the Antipolo project. “There are trained ERPATs at posts ready for rescues.”

A little boy looks out on the scene and evacuation center.
A little boy looks out on the scene at an
evacuation center.

At the Antipolo office, staff members were preparing porridge and other hot meals to serve to the children and elderly at two evacuation centers.

The floods came with heavy rains from the monsoon and tropical storm Trami, locally known as Maring, which sat over the North Philippine Sea and soaked the main island of Luzon with more than an inch of rain an hour, news reports said.

Some areas of Manila were submerged in waist-deep floodwaters, making roads impassable, according to news reports. Weather forecasts have predicted the rains will continue until Thursday.

Torrential rains and flooding are common in the Philippines, which gets hit by about 20 typhoons a year.

Deforestation and waterways clogged with trash and other debris have contributed to flooding problems in the Manila area, which is home to more than 12 million people.

CFCA will utilize contributions to the Disaster Assistance Fund to help projects with relief and recovery efforts.

All those affected by the floods are in the thoughts and prayers of the CFCA community around the world.

“Please include us in your prayers to spare our communities and projects from severe calamity,” Navio said. “Join us as we pray for fine weather at the soonest.”

Scenes from Philippine floods

ERPAT fathers respond to flood emergency. A hot meal is served at an evacuation center. Children eat a hot meal at an evacuation center. Residents leave flooded homes. A woman looks out as floodwaters rise.
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Disaster assistance

Help address the needs of sponsored members and their families following natural disasters and other emergencies. Donations support relief and recovery efforts following earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, typhoons, fires, floods and mudslides. Funds are used where they are most needed, as determined by Unbound and project staff. Learn more »