Local News

We’re there for you!

December 2 - 8, 2020

Gulf Weekly Mai Al Khatib-Camille
By Mai Al Khatib-Camille

Gulf Weekly We’re there for you!

The Philippines recently suffered a series of devastating typhoons with many people losing everything they own... such as Jhean Antonia Faura and Daylin Baja and their families.

Moved by the tragedy, Afkarech Female Network & Think Tank launched a fundraising initiative to support the two women and their loved ones in their time of need.

“When the vice president of Afkarech, Lovy Joseph, the committee members and I heard of the typhoons that had hit the Philippines and the massive destruction left in their wake, we knew we had to help,” said Mariam Alammadi, a licensed psychologist and founder of Afkarech, a female network for professionals living in Bahrain.

“We wanted to help two families in particular, with the goal of helping others if more money was raised. We came to know these women from within the Afkarech Female Network and both are caregivers to our members families.

“These ladies have selflessly helped us in our gatherings and have promoted the idea of female empowerment alongside Afkarech members. Now, we feel it is our duty to help them in their hour of need.

“When we saw the photographs of their homes submerged in water and attempted to console them – we felt truly distraught.

“These are two women who already struggle to make incomes for their families and are now facing a huge financial burden to try and rebuild what they have lost.

“Your home is regarded as your safe haven. Watching it being taken away from you without being able to do anything is truly heartbreaking.

“They have lost not only their homes but every single possession they had in the world and as we all know things with sentimental value are more than mere possessions and are irreplaceable.

“Financially it had taken many years of saving and sacrifice not to mention loans to help pay for their houses only to see them washed away in such a devastating manner.”

In the past month alone, five storms have hammered the Philippines from Typhoon Molave (locally named Quinta) on October 25 to Vamco (Ulysses) at the beginning of November, which came less than a fortnight after the season’s strongest storm, Typhoon Goni (Rolly).

Typhoon Vamco has affected more than three million people in 5,594 barangays (villages/wards). As of November 17, it was recorded that 73 people have died; 283,656 people are in 2,205 evacuation centres; and 50 villages remain completely isolated.

In areas affected by Typhoon Goni, at least 25 people died, more than 390 were injured and nearly 83,000 remain displaced.

Agriculture damage from recent typhoons exceeds $250 million and infrastructure damage stands at $165 million.

Power supply is disrupted in more than 250 cities; water supply is affected in 50 municipalities and communications networks are down in 51 cities.

Many health facilities have been damaged and Covid-19 patients have had to be transferred out of five quarantine facilities.

Jhean, a single mother living in Saar, is thankful her children are safe but doesn’t know how she will cope. She said: “I am devastated that my house and everything I own in the world is gone.

“I thank God that my two children are safe and that is the one true blessing from this.

“I saved for many years for this home and took a loan for the remainder. As a single mother I cannot put into words what I am feeling today and cannot begin to describe the feeling of loss. Both of my sisters have also suffered a similar fate”.

Meanwhile, Daylin, from Budaiya, said: “I remember the phone call I received that night. My sister was howling and weeping saying we had lost everything. The floods had taken it all away. All was gone!

“The line was not very clear and went dead immediately after. I tried for many hours to reach her but I was unable to.

“My family are safe and I thank God for his eternal mercy but the devastation left behind by the typhoon created massive difficulties for them and our neighbourhood.

“People were climbing on roof tops with their children, huddling up for safety. Nobody had water or provisions for more than 24 hours until help arrived.”

Afkarech is asking for donations of BD5 and BD10, or any amount, to help pay to rebuild their homes.

“This is a very generous act of kindness provided by Afkarech,” added Daylin. “It shows us there is still love and humanity left in the world and we are very thankful for all the help and donations.

“This money will definitely be able to help my family buy the essential items for their survival and, hopefully, play a part in rebuilding our lives again.”

In the meantime, their children are currently being housed
 with extended family.
Afkarech hopes the donations will help towards the cost of rebuilding their homes, easing their financial burdens and showing them that people really do care and understand hardship.

“Be the rainbow after their clouds,” said Mariam from Saar. “Afkarech has undertaken many charitable initiatives and we have always been astounded by the kindness of people in Bahrain. We truly feel showing kindness to others is just as rewarding as receiving it from someone else.”

Donations can be made to IBAN BH48BBKU00100000386530 or by scanning the QR code. For details, email info@afkarech.com.

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