Express Week

Build-A-Shelter project

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Three groups recently donated to the “Build-a-Shelter” Project of the Friends of FilCom and the Philippine Jesuit Foundation (PJF). The project, launched on 26 November and is supported by the Philippine Consulate General, aims to build permanent shelters for the survivors of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

It will be piloted in the town of Hernani, Eastern Samar where the typhoon completely destroyed 1,655 houses and partially damaged 337 more. The project will be implemented with Philippine-based partners which are into shelter and community building. The Friends of FilCom is currently negotiating a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with one prospective partner, whose name will be announced as soon as the MOA is finalized.

Two Korean American groups - The Korea Daily (JoongAng IlBo) and Korean Radio Broadcasting (KRB) New York/Korea Disaster Fund - are the latest donors to the “Build-a-Shelter” Project.

On 20 December, Mr. Taejung Kwon, President and CEO of The Korea Daily, turned over a check amounting to $24,431to Fr. Vic Salanga and Executive Director Fern Robles of PJF. Mr. Jong Byun and Mr. Gihyun Pae, Chairman and Executive Director, respectively, of the 1004 Fund Committee of The Korea Daily, accompanied Mr. Kwon.

Consul General Mario De Leon, Deputy Consul General Zaldy Patron, Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro and Councilman Michael Yun, and Friends of FilCom’s Ms. Vivian Cruz and Atty. Dean Suba were among the witness to the handing over of check.

The second group, KRB NY, made a donation of $100,900to PJF on 23 December.

Mr. Kwon Young-Dae and Ms. Mi-Sun Chang, President and Executive Director of KRB, respectively, gave the check to PJF’s Fr. Salanga. Messrs. Kenneth Yu, Sung Min and Lee Jong-Won, the presidents of the three chapters of The Korean American Associations in Greater New Jersey, Greater New York and Greater Connecticut, represented the group of donors to the fund.

Councilmen Lavarro and Yun of Jersey City, and Ms. Cruz of the Friends of FilCom were again present at the event, together with Consul General De Leon, DCG Patron and Vice Consul Khrys Corpuz.

Councilman Lavarro and Korean-American Councilman Yun played an important role in encouraging the two Korean American groups to donate to the typhoon victims.

Mr. Young-Dae mentioned that his group did the fundraising to show solidarity for the Yolanda victims and to return a favour to the Philippines for helping the Korean people during the Korean War in the early 1950s.

The last group to donate was the Voorhees Cultural Diversity Foundation of Vorhees, New Jersey. Represented by Stella Sytnik (President) Dean Mazurek (Treasurer) and Stephanie Fisher (Board Trustee), the group gave $3,000to the “Build-a-Shelter” Project on 23 December. Consul General De Leon received the check on behalf of the PJF.

Joining the Foundation officers when they visited the Philippine Consulate General were Filipino community leaders Ms. Gwen De Vera and veteran Jimmy Peralta who handed over separate check donations for the Philippine Red Cross.

“I am very thankful for The Korea Daily, Korean Radio Broadcasting NY and Voorhees Cultural Diversity Foundation for making significant donations to the Build-A-Shelter Project of the Friends of FilCom and the Philippine Jesuit Foundation. Their donations will already enable us to build a village of houses in Hernani, Eastern Samar. The Friends of Filcom, however, is continuing its fund drive to be able to build more houses in other towns affected by Yolanda and help more survivors in rebuilding their lives and communities,” Consul General De Leon remarked.

The Filipino Express

2711 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Jersey City, NJ 07306 USA.

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Fax: 201 434-0880

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