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Filipino Poor Muslims Aid Typhoon Survivors

A survivor carries water cans as he searches for fresh water in an area devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban

Defying their poverty and dire need, Muslims in Marawi City in Mindanao have been campaigning to raise funds and aid to the Yolanda typhoon stricken areas in the Visayas.

It was “very touching to see people from all levels of life share whatever they have for the typhoon victims,” Samira Gutoc, a Maranao civic leader told Philippine Daily Inquirer.

“Each one, they contributed, like passing the hat for someone in need.

“They came together in the spirit of oneness with the pain of Visayas calamity victims. Every mother or son, classmate or friend, teacher and student, tricycle driver or school superintendent personally passed by a drop-off point for Oplan Tabang Visayas,” Gutoc added in a statement.

Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Philippines on Nov. 8th and 9th, killing at least 3,974 people and leaving 1,186 missing.

Counting the dead, the Philippines is facing an enormous rebuilding task, to revive the country back from the devastating typhoon, the strongest recorded in modern ages.

Over the past week, Philippines authorities and international aid agencies have been facing a mounting humanitarian crisis, with the number of people displaced by the catastrophe estimated at 4 million, up from 900,000 late last week.

Living in the country’s poorest regions, Muslims in Marawi city, in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), launched a campaign to help typhoon survivors.

Though the campaign was not expected to raise millions of pesos, the willingness of Muslims to offer help showed that generosity comes not only from the rich.

“Imagine the drive gathering almost P100,000 in nine days, which we could already use to buy rice, Maggi (instant noodles) and tuna to be delivered to Visayas,” Gutoc, also former lawmaker of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said.

Those who did not have cash, handed over clothes and other basic necessities.

Volunteers also laid down prayer mats around the Marawi City public market to solicit contributions while others urged residents to pack their used clothes or excess food and send them to the typhoon victims.

Islamic Values

The leading Muslim civic leader asserted that helping those in need was a basic Islamic value.

“Bayanihan and the Islamic value of charity also manifested in this endeavor,” Gutoc said.

Gathering funds over the past week, ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman announced that a 10-vehicle convoy of food and nonfood items has left for Yolanda-devastated areas from this city on Tuesday.

“This is the second batch of the region’s relief mission to areas badly hit by super storm Yolanda that left untold suffering, casualties, displaced and wrecked lives in areas where victims are mostly suffering from hunger and are without shelter,” Hataman said.

Help was not limited to offering food and shelter items, the governor added.

Last week, the ARMM government also sent a medical and relief team, led by Regional Health Secretary Kadil Sinolinding Jr.

Amir Mawallil, regional public information director, said at least five trucks had been loaded with various relief goods that include 3,500 food packs containing five kilograms of rice, sardines, corned beef, bottled water, noodles and coffee.

ARMM Social Welfare Secretary Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman Jr. said they also brought along 2,000 pairs of slippers, 4,600 boxes containing dried fish, water jugs, folding beds and flashlights.

Muslims make up nearly 8 percent of the total population in the largely Catholic Philippines.

The mineral-rich southern region of Mindanao, Islam’s birthplace in the Philippines, is home to 5 million Muslims.

Islam reached the Philippines in the 13th century, about 200 years before Christianity.

Source : Onislam


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This entry was posted on November 25, 2013 by in News and tagged .
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