Aid finally gets on its way to the Phillipines flood victims

Aid to Hospitals Worldwide (A2HW) were packing the container which is going to the Phillipines. Readers of the Bury Free Press helped donate some goods earlier this year''Pictured: Trevor Sayer (District Governor of the Rotary), Jo Conroy with husband and helpers
Aid to Hospitals Worldwide (A2HW) were packing the container which is going to the Phillipines. Readers of the Bury Free Press helped donate some goods earlier this year''Pictured: Trevor Sayer (District Governor of the Rotary), Jo Conroy with husband and helpers
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A CHARITY shipment of aid for flood victims has been delayed for months but will still fill a desperate need.

Many Bury Free Press readers donated tinned food and blankets in January to an appeal by the Conroy-Rendon Charitable Trust and Aid to Hospitals Worldwide (A2HW) to help the victims of the December floods in the Phillipines. Since then the Bury St Edmunds-based charities have been battling cumbersome bureaucracy in the Phillipines.

Jo Conroy, whose daughter Mary lives in the flood-struck area and has been handling the Phillipines end, said: “We had to deal with tax exemption, which is tricky out there because there are several departments involved. They have different departments for different things so with a mixed load you have to deal with them all.”

But the 40ft shipping container holding £100,000 worth of aid is now on its way and will leave London on Sunday to arrive in September. Rotary International has given a generous contribution towards shipping costs.

Jo said: “There are still 20,000 to 30,000 people still in tent cities from the floods.”

Much of the medical equipment in the shipment will go to the Canitoan Health Centre, which serves more than 15,000 people plus a tented city of 10,000. It will get basic healthcare kits, beds, dressings and neo-natal equipment.

More medical equipment will go to the Macasandig Health Centre in the heart of the flood zone while wheelchairs, walking aids, special needs shoes and educational toys will go to the Procare Special Needs School, which gets no Government support.

Outlying villages will also get help, through a Phillipine church’s outreach project. Carpentry and plumbing tools and sewing machines will be sent there.

Jo, who is logistics manager for A2HW, said that once this consignment had been successfully delivered they would be looking at sending more tools.

“People lost all their tools and things,” she said. “If they’re carpenters, plumbers or mechanics they’ve lost their way of earning a living.

“If you give them tools, they can rebuild.”

Jo’s Bury-born daughter Mary Rendon lives with her husband Ramil in Cagayan de Oro and after Typhoon Washi brought floods, washing away whole housing estates, they found themselves helping their neighbours on top of their existing work with street children. Mary’s old school, County Upper, sent a £500 cheque to help her buy vital supplies locally.

The Rendons’ work is supported by Mary’s parents Jo and Andy through the Conroy-Rendon Charitable Trust.