It has been 4 months since Typhoon Bopha (Pablo) struck the southeastern part of Mindanao. What initially looked like a hopeless situation is slowly being turned around by the resilience and determination of the survivors, the unflagging dedication of the volunteers, and the unwavering support of those like you who did not hesitate to share what you had for the survivors.

We would like to give you this report on the series of medical relief missions conducted by Balsa-Mindanao, a citizen-led movement that responds to disasters and of which the Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio Foundation is a member.
These missions were made possible not by a single entity, but by the collaborative effort and support of a lot of individuals and organizations, which includes you. All the donations: medicines, finance, logistics, time, and morale, all contributed to the success of these missions. In the name of the lives with whom we had the opportunity to be a part of, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for your support.

The often spoken line of the people was: what took us years to build, Pablo took away in 4 hours. It will indeed take years to rebuild but we are hoping to reassure the people that we will still be there with them in their efforts to rise from the ruins.

Our missions are still continuing but this time towards strengthening the community to regain or obtain their self-esteem and self-reliance. This summer, we will be launching trainings for Community Health Workers and more medical missions in the affected areas. We hope that somehow we can contribute to the communities’ efforts in Disaster Response and Preparedness by training these Community Health Workers to also become First Responders.

We know that you, too, will continue with us on this journey.

Thank you,

Fr. Peter Geremia, PIME