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New, better life for Cadiz folk

New, better life for Cadiz folk

By Carla P. Gomez
Philippine Daily Inquirer

 

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL—Super Typhoon “Yolanda” flattened houses and flipped over boats in a fishing village on Lakawon Island off Cadiz City, Negros Occidental province, on Nov. 8, 2013. More than four  months after the devastation, the islet’s 280 families are given a chance to start anew with the help of a nongovernment organization.


Kalipay Negrense Foundation is building houses out of harm’s way for the displaced families in mainland Cadiz. The people had been squatting on Lakawon, a 13-hectare, banana-shaped islet off the coast of Cadiz with a stretch of white-sand beach on one side and a small fishing village on the other.

The islet was among the areas in northern Negros Occidental that bore the brunt of Yolanda. At least 280 families lost their houses while 90 percent of the fishermen lost their boats, said Anna Balcells, president of the nonprofit Kalipay Negrense Foundation based in Bacolod City.

“It is ironic that Lakawon is a paradise island-resort, and yet, at one end of it, so many people are destitute,” she said.

After visiting the typhoon-hit areas and speaking to Cadiz Mayor Patrick Escalante, Kalipay members decided to adopt the fishing community of Lakawon due to the islet’s extent of damage.

Although no one died in Cadiz during the storm, strong winds destroyed

5,006 houses and 120 bancas, and damaged about 17,000 houses and 240 bancas. At least P200 million worth of government infrastructure was ruined.

Balcells, who returned to Negros Occidental for good from Spain where she had lived for many years, saw an opportunity to appeal for help for those displaced by the typhoon.

As donations poured in, Kalipay extended assistance not only to Cadiz but also to other areas in the Visayas. It provided relief and medical items, as well as clothes, to people living on Bantayan Island in Cebu province and Capiz province on Panay Island.


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New beginning for Lakawon folk

KALIPAY PROJECT
New beginning for Lakawon folk
BY CARLA GOMEZ

 

Super typhoon “Yolanda” destroyed the houses of 280 residents on Lakawon Island in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, in November, but it also provided them with a chance for a new beginning.

Lakawon is a 13-hectare banana shaped island off the coast of Cadiz City, with white sand beaches on the side facing Negros Island, and a small fishing village on the other side.

When “Yolanda” struck, the houses in the fishing villages were flattened, they kissed the ground, and the fishermen lost about 90 percent of their boats, Anna Balcells, Kalipay Negrense Foundation president, said.

“It is ironic that Lakawon is a paradise island resort, and yet, at one end of it, so many people are destitute,” she said.

After visiting the typhoon-hit areas in northern Negros Occidental and speaking to Cadiz Mayor Patrick Escalante, Kalipay members decided to make the residents of the fishing village of Lakawon their adopted community, she said.

Balcells, who lived in Spain for many years but had returned to Negros for good, got many calls from friends and the Spanish media after Yolanda and she used the opportunity to appeal for help.

Her group initially provided food, medical and clothing assistance to residents of Bantayan Island in Cebu, Capiz in Panay, and Cadiz City.

“Ninety percent of the donations given to Kalipay for the typhoon victims came from Spain but, of course, we still need a lot of help,” she said.

That's because Kalipay has looked beyond the initial relief measures and has decided to partner with the Cadiz City government and Gawad Kalinga to provide more lasting help, she said.

She said the Cadiz City government purchased a 3.5-hectare property in Barangay Cadiz Viejo in the mainland, solely for the relocation of the Lakawon informal settlers.

By relocating them, the Lakawon residents will no longer have to live in constant fear of losing their homes and lives to typhoons, and of being isolated from the rest of the province, she said.

She said their target is to build 280 houses at the Cadiz Viejo site with GK committing to 140, and Kalipay building the other half.

Balcells said Kalipay has, so far, raised enough money for 40 houses and is still in need of money to build 100 more.

But Balcells, who works on faith that the Lord will provide, and in the goodness of others, is optimistic they will achieve their goal.

On top of that, Kalipay has, so far, raised funds for 33 fishing boats for the Lakawon fishermen and hopes to be able to reach a target of 50, she said.

Aside from the houses and the boats, Balcells said Kalipay is committed to work at helping the residents of Lakawon develop new livelihood skills at the Cadiz Viejo resettlement site to augment their incomes.

We are committed to work with them for the next three years to make sure change happens, Balcells said.

Kalipay's goal for the people of Lakawon is to give them an opportunity for a better life, no longer as squatters, but as owners of the land where their houses will be built on, she said.*CPG

 

http://www.visayandailystar.com/2014/February/25/topstory8.htm

 
KALIPAY RESPONDING TO THE IMMEDIATE NEEDS OF TYPHOON HAIYAN/YOLANDA VICTIMS IN LAKAWON ISLAND
Kalipay Relief Operation in Lakawon Island, Cadiz Viejo, Cadiz City, Negros Occidental

On February 10, 2014, the Kalipay team distributed approximately 300 bags for the families who are in dire need of food because their source of livelihood was badly affected by typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Their boats were destroyed leaving them with no means of fishing. It was noted that some of the families had not eaten a decent meal in 3-5 days. These families were in desperate need of food and other basic essentials. Kalipay plans to do more relief operations and we would appreciate your financial support. DONATE NOW! Click: http://www.kalipaynegrensefoundation.org/donate

 


 
KALIPAY RELIEF EFFORTS AFTER TYPHOON HAIYAN


PLEASE SUPPORT KALIPAY RELIEF EFFORTS IN THE AFTERMATH OF TYPHOON HAIYAN!



The Kalipay Team have been on the ground in Capiz and Panay distributing relief goods. Nearly 80 to 85% of Capiz was damaged by the super typhoon. Debris and fallen electric posts are spread everywhere while several houses have been critically damaged. The Kalipay team was shocked by the state of devastation and plan to return to distribute more relief goods.

We need your help! Please support our efforts by donating whatever you can to aid the victims of typhoon Haiyan. Donate now... http://www.kalipaynegrensefoundation.org/donate

 
Sharing at Christmas with joy

 

By Betsy Gazo

Saturday, November 17, 2012

 

GOD loves a cheerful giver and the giver is also gifted with much cheer and joy. When Christmas is in the air, generous souls can smell the fragrant opportunity to share their blessings with others in need. Opportunities for giving are plentiful and it is just a matter of choosing a favorite charity or cause.

After all, there are so many causes to support, too many charity cases to contribute to, and countless people in need awaiting a little blessing. Remember, we neither can save nor feed the whole world but we can save one person, one animal, or one tree at a time.

To make a suggestion, SM City Bacolod is campaigning to support the children of Kalipay Negrense Foundation, Inc. Anyone in society can give donations and these donations will help the homeless, the malnourished, the sexually and physically abused, the out-of-school youth, and the special children sheltered by Kalipay. Kalipay’s aim is to bring joy to disadvantaged children.

Disadvantaged children. Who are they? They are the 1.6 million street children in the Philippines of whom 60,000 are prostituted. They’re the 6 million children who are malnourished. They’re the 28 children arrested every day. In our province, 3 children are rescued daily on the average.

“Jemma” describes her young life: “I was living in the streets, a rugby addict. My father was dead. My mother a prostitute. At a very young age, my siblings and I were sold in the flesh trade by relatives.“ Jemma’s story is replicated often.

SM takes part in Kalipay’s goals through its SM City Bacolod Christmas Centerpiece Launch at the Event Center last November 10. Its theme, Christmas Isn’t Christmas Without Sharing, aptly provides the motivation for everyone who has even just a little to spare. It was a fun-filled event showcasing the talents of Kalipay’s beneficiaries.

The Kalipay children danced to the delight of the crowd. The girls looked prim and proper in their printed long-sleeved tops with jaunty ribbons at the collar. Proudly looking on was Kalipay Chairman Anna Balcells who was beaming in her seat. (Anna and some concerned friends started Kalipay Negrense Foundation, Inc. in 2007.) She would later tell me of one particular girl who is now doing so well in school. It means that when given the right environment and love and support, abused children who have only known poverty, crime and pain can get past through these and enjoy victorious living.

The partners and projects of this foundation are Haven Children’s Home (Bacolod City), Calvary Kids Home (Bacolod City), Recovered Treasures Children’s Home (Bago City), Gawag Kalinga-Balcells Hope Village (Talisay City), and Angel’s Workshop (Don Salvador Benedicto Town). The Board of Trustees are John I. Gayoso (Vice-Chairman), Belinda U. Tanpinco (Treasurer), Sylvia M. Campos (Secretary), with Emilio L. Abello VI, Atty. Lyndon P. Cana, and Atty. Joselle Batapa as Members of the Board.
Apathy towards the needy will only worsen the situation and these children, if not rescued, will become the future generation of drug addicts, petty thieves, murderers, hardened criminals or prostitutes. They will certainly become a burden to society. We would have mentally, physically and spiritually sick people amidst us. We can help save ourselves and our country by saving these children.

For donations through SM City Bacolod, get in touch with the Marketing Department or call (034)4680209 and (034)4680168. Don’t forget: when you sow sparingly, you also reap sparingly.

 
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