Amazingly, the worst of times have this uncanny tendency to bring out the best in people. After reeling from the aftermath caused by typhoon Yolanda, Filipinos have joined hands to begin the country’s journey of rebuilding communities that were devastated in the Visayas region and bring renewed hope to the survivors.
Heeding the nation’s distress call, TELUS International Philippines swiftly responded as more than 700 team members volunteered to help in the relief operations of Philippine Red Cross, Department of Social Welfare and Development and Gawad Kalinga a few days after the typhoon. TELUS immediately donated over P2 million to the Red Cross, earmarked specifically for typhoon relief. A month after the disaster, TIP held its TELUS Day of Service as a culminating event in a series of relief efforts, when more than 1,000 team members packed Christmas packages for 5,500 affected families in Leyte. TELUS International Philippines has announced a further P2.65 million, donated by the company and its team members, to be distributed through the TELUS International Community Board to charitable organizations helping with rehabilitation following Typhoon Yolanda.
“Yolanda caught us off-guard, “says Gawad Kalinga founder Tony Meloto. “But the scale of the problem is nothing compared to the overflow of generosity and heroism, as friends and partners from around the world rally together in bayanihan to help the Filipinos rise again.”
“Our hearts go out to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda, and we are committed to helping alleviate the plight of those affected by this calamity,” shares TELUS International president Jeffrey Puritt. “TELUS is pleased to provide P4.7 million in financial support to victims of Typhoon Yolanda, for both immediate relief efforts and long-term rehabilitation but, even more inspiring for me, is our team members’ sense of obligation to lend their hearts, hands and minds in the service of others during the TELUS Day of Service.”
While relief efforts address the immediate need for food and clothes, non-profit organizations like Gawad Kalinga in partnership with TIP have drawn plans to tackle the longer-term need for shelter.
The rebuilding and relief operations are part of Operation Walang Iwanan, GK’s aid effort for Yolanda survivors. Through the program, GK and its partners aim to build an initial 5,000 houses, as well as repair around 1,000 damaged houses.