Surviving—with some neighbourly help

A roof over one’s head, something to eat—in many parts of the world, personal wish lists are very short. Here are some stories about people who help other people survive—and who try to conjure up a smile on their faces in the process.

Corrugated iron and nails

Two are stronger than one! In order to provide intensive aid to those affected by Typhoon Ursula, two New Apostolic relief agencies have decided to begin working together. On Thursday afternoon, NACSEA Relief Fund (South East Asia) announced that it would be working together with Humanaktiv (New Apostolic Church of Southern Germany) on this project.

At the end of December 2019, the tropical whirlwind—which later grew to a category II typhoon—caused tremendous damage in the Philippines. This includes 50 deaths, several dozen missing, and damage to property to the tune of just under 70 million US dollars.

NACSEA Relief Fund is helping affected people in the disaster area, which lies some 350 kilometres from the national capital of Manila. Mabelle Bagtas and Rebekah Silvano, both members of the South East Asian relief organisation, delivered corrugated iron, marine plywood, lumber, and nails to five different locations. It is in these places that destroyed houses are to be rebuilt. A total of fourteen families—amounting to over 80 people in Bulalacao, Bungabong, Pinamalayan, Barcenaga, and Semirara Island—were thus able to receive the help they needed.

Seedlings and fertiliser

“When farmers sow seed, they hope for a good harvest. But when storms and floods destroy the fields, even the seedlings are affected—and their hopes for a harvest are dashed. This makes the very foundation of their livelihood uncertain. A further challenge is the repair of destroyed houses,” explains the relief organisation of the NAC South East Asia.

Even before Typhoon Ursula, the significantly stronger Typhoon Tisoy raged through the Philippines at the start of December 2019, destroying many livelihoods. And these are now being rebuilt in Bicol. The farmers in Basagan, Bantayan in Tabaco/Albay and Tabgon in Goa/Camarines Sur, received seedlings and fertiliser from Humanaktiv and NACSEA Relief Fund in order that the fields could be replanted. And there were also deliveries of lumber, roofing, and nails for new houses and new roofs.

Reforestation and seed distribution

“Clouds of locusts have been roaming East Africa in enormous proportions for several days now. The rain season has strongly favoured their multiplication. Within minutes, the unimaginably large swarms move across the country, devouring everything in their path and leaving nothing but bare earth. Beyond that, the heat has provided them with ideal breeding conditions. This only increases the locust plague, which has not happened to this degree for over 70 years,” reports NAK-karitativ, the relief agency of the New Apostolic Churches in Germany.

Since the beginning of this week, employees have been preparing for aid measures "in the heavily hit areas in the north of Kenya," in cooperation with other aid organisations in Eastern Africa. In this region, foodstuffs and seeds are to be distributed before reforestation efforts get underway. Training measures for farmers are also being considered so that these extensive projects can be better coordinated.

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