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REGIONAL BACKGROUND The Philippines are an outstandingly beautiful group of islands in the south-west Pacific ocean, particularly renowned for their flora.

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Presentation on theme: "REGIONAL BACKGROUND The Philippines are an outstandingly beautiful group of islands in the south-west Pacific ocean, particularly renowned for their flora."— Presentation transcript:

1 REGIONAL BACKGROUND The Philippines are an outstandingly beautiful group of islands in the south-west Pacific ocean, particularly renowned for their flora and fauna. Originally a Spanish colony, the islands came under American control during the 20 th century; both cultures have left their mark upon the indigenous people, which is made up of several different tribes. Although the Philippines have suffered through political instability and oppressive governments, the small country’s economy has done well in the last 8 years. However, the wealth gap between the rich and the poor is growing. The majority of the population live in rural areas and are often faced by extreme poverty. Farming is increasingly unprofitable and fishing waters have become depleted. Among some indigenous groups there is a high rate of illiteracy and no opportunities beyond small-scale farming. Unfortunately, the tropical climate can also make the Philippines vulnerable to adverse weather conditions, as with the recent typhoon (Typhoon Haiyan) in November 2013, adding to the difficulties of an already needy people. PROJECT BACKGROUND It has been estimated that Typhoon Haiyan has affected the livelihoods of one million farmers, uprooting hectares of rice plantations (as well as sugar cane and coconut farms) and destroying the irrigation or farming equipment needed for next year’s planting. Fishing communities have also been affected by the typhoon as boats and equipment have been wrecked. There is therefore no possibility that small-scale farmers can continue to be self-sufficient and provide for their families and whole communities have been left without a means of support. At the same time, the risk of infectious disease has been increased by the prevalence of dirty water and poor sanitation. Thousands of homes have been destroyed, both in rural and urban areas. Approximately 4.1 million people have become displaced. The capital city Cebu is in the southern part of the islands. St Stephen’s charity in Hong Kong goes regularly to the Philippines to share Jesus’s love there for the poor and oppressed. Seeking to be the hands and feet of Christ, love has compelled these people to live amongst the poorest people in the slums of Cebu; the ministry has also overflowed to setting up a girl’s house to help women out of prostitution. The ministry has grown from more people coming to faith through outreach activities. In the face of the recent typhoon the response of believers has been to further their efforts to bring healing and restoration to the broken and bereaved, alongside practical help. ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…’ (Matthew 25: 35). PROJECT AIMS The primary response to Typhoon Haiyan is to help the poorest families, widows and orphans, to rebuild their homes. Rostica, an elderly widow (pictured below) lost her entire house in the typhoon, which the team were able to rebuild. During the rebuilding, the team were also able to pray for her cataracts, which were blinding her, and she was instantly healed. However, there are many more people in desperate need who are without a home. HOW YOU HAVE HELPED The money that you and others have given through The Besom will purchase the resources needed to rebuild the homes of families who lost their houses and possessions because of the typhoon. ST STEPHEN’S SOCIETY Emergency rebuilding and relief to endangered families, Philippines THE BESOM sweep away suffering Registered Charity No OV882 St Stephen’s and Cebu Church– rebuilding Rostica’s house, an elderly widow. Rostica with team member Ronna. Rostica lives in San Remigio, north of Cebu.


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