Samaritana Transformation Ministries .. towards free Prostitutions Societies
Nearly 80% of Metro Manila was under water as Ondoy brought a month’s rainfall in just a few hours. The flooding that ensued led the government to declare a state of calamity, as the death toll rose to over 300 and hundreds of thousands were displaced. Less than a week later, Typhoon Pepeng wreaked havoc over northern Luzon leaving over 500 dead, hundreds of thousands again displaced, and many crops destroyed. Nearly everyone in the northern part of the Philippines has been affected by one or both of the storms.
Samaritana’s community was no exception. One volunteer’s house flooded to nearly the second storey and she lost many belongings. Another waded through waist-deep waters to reach home where her roommates had been trapped for twenty-four hours. One trainee’s daughter was stranded in a northern province, as she anxiously prayed for the waters to go down. The stories go on and on…
It has now been a month since the floods. The typhoons have passed, but they leave lasting repercussions and memories. Complete recovery for some will take months, if not years. In the past several weeks, Samaritana has concentrated on identifying typhoon victims among women in the streets and the bars. These women who suffered significant losses as a result of the typhoons were invited to attend Samaritana’s fellowship on October 23rd, when basic needs such as drinking water, canned food, clothing and cleaning supplies were distributed. Cash donations from concerned friends in the US, Canada, and the Union Church of Manila, together with rice donated by Philrads (the relief and development arm of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches), are enabling Samaritana to offer relief and assistance to the storm victims. The response to the storm victims’ needs have also brought an opportunity for our women trainees to serve and give to others.
In November and December, we will continue to serve typhoon victims during outreach and provide these women and their families with basic material assistance. We will also give these women the opportunity to receive trauma counseling from volunteer counselors; we hope to help meet not only physical, but also emotional and spiritual needs in this time of great difficulty.
We would like to say a huge “Thank You!” to all who have given special gifts to Samaritana at this time of calamity. Your generosity is enabling us to be able to meet immediate felt needs of traumatized storm victims, create openings for deeper relationship, and the possibility of decisions for lasting transformation in the future. If you would like to still give to our storm relief efforts, you may give through MEANS.
MEANS Notes: Samaritana has set a budget of Php1,500 (around $33) per woman/household for their flood relief assistance. Samaritana will spread that amount out over the next weeks through the end of December giving basic assistance like rice, water bottles, canned goods initially. After Samaritana will see what the ongoing needs are and their available budget for other things (blankets, relocation assistance, etc?). There will also services for some sharing times, peer counseling, group counseling and prayer times for the storm victims for more of the psycho-spiritual assistance.