Gawad Kalinga Canada has raised $365,000 from the fundraising campaigns it has initiated and held in partnership with businesses and other organizations to help rebuild the lives of the survivors of typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm on record which hit Central Visayas, Philippines on Nov. 8, last year.
According to GKC vice chairman Jose Querubin the amount also includes pledges and individual donations made to GKC.
Plans are now underway for 77 homes that will be built in the towns of Palo and Isabel, in Leyte province, from the initial $340,000 donations raised. Donations amounting to $25,500 turned over during the GKC Donor Appreciation event today will be allocated to the construction of more homes in the province.
Francis Rementilla, GKC board member, said the funds will be used for the construction of 20 homes in Palo and another 37 in Isabel. Documentation on this project is being finalized with GK Philippines. Early in February, the Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians led by Councilor Alex Chiu pledged $70,000 to GKC for the building of 20 homes in Palo. GKC is still in discussions with GK Philippines for another site in Leyte for 20 more homes.
Reports from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the death toll from typhoon Haiyan has surpassed 6000 with 28,626 reported injured and 2000 still missing. The killer storm has destroyed about US$439 million worth of infrastructure and US$454 million worth of crops and agricultural equipment.
GKC expects construction of the first 20 homes to begin in May for completion in November. Construction of the other 57 units will start as soon as the sites are available and agreements between GK Philippines are finalized. The Markham project for 20 homes in Palo, Leyte will start immediately when funds are received by GKC.
GKC also participated in the dollar for dollar matching program where the Canadian Government matched $83,500 from individual donations to contribute to the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund administered by the government.
As a non-profit organization, GKC’s mandate is to help build permanent shelters for those in need. Supporting the rehabilitation, relocation and reconstruction efforts of GK Philippines for the survivors of Haiyan is in line with this mandate.
Rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts in the affected areas are ongoing. GKC continues to accept donations and welcomes partnerships with businesses and other organizations who intend to help in the endeavors. For more information please contact Francis Rementilla at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jose Querubin, at email@example.com.