Republic of the Philippines

50 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand 6011

World Vision New Zealand helps 6,000 school children in Tacloban, Leyte

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In its continuing mission to help in the rebuilding of lives and communities in areas affected by typhoon Haiyan in Central Philippines, World Vision New Zealand has partnered with The Warehouse to bring 6,000 Back-to-School packs containing school bags, pens, books, a lunch box and an umbrella to school children in Tacloban in time for the opening of the school year in June. This represents World Vision New Zealand’s share in the project of World Vision to provide 18,000 school packs for primary, intermediate and secondary students in Leyte. The generosity of the people of New Zealand has so far raised $1.38 million for World Vision New Zealand’s typhoon Haiyan Appeal.

On 3 May 2014, representatives from World Vision New Zealand, The Warehouse and over a hundred members from the Filipino community and other nationalities and volunteers have come together to be part of the assembly line to pack the items for the Back-to-School packs and load them in containers to be shipped to the worst hit areas in Tacloban by the end of the month. Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez, accompanied by Honorary Consul General Paulo Garcia and Atty. Gene Bagsic from the Philippine Consulate in Auckland, visited The Warehouse distribution centre in Auckland where the packing of goods were being done with media coverage provided by TV 3. She conveyed the gratitude of the Filipino people for New Zealand’s immediate and continuing assistance in the on-going and urgent rebuilding of lives and communities affected by typhoon Haiyan in Central Philippines and the generosity and compassion of World Vision New Zealand and its partner, The Warehouse to make a huge and far reaching difference in the lives of 6,000 Filipino children. The school packs will surely be treasured by the school children as they once again enjoy learning and going back to school in June.

In reply to the letter of appreciation of Ambassador Benavidez, Mr. Seth Le Leu, Chief Advisor, International Development of World Vision New Zealand stated that the organization will continue in their efforts to build back better the affected communities. Ambassador Benavidez told him that “Now that the Filipinos in the affected areas are back on their feet lifted up by the spirit of “bayanihan” (volunteerism and helping one another) from our people back home and the Filipino communities abroad and the overwhelming response from our international partners, donor communities and organizations like World Vision New Zealand, the Philippine government has put in place a well-coordinated and multi-stakeholder reconstruction programme covering strategic development outcomes on education, housing and shelter, employment and livelihood, power restoration and infrastructure. As the Philippines confronts the crucial task of helping our countrymen recover and build back better and safer communities, we are grateful for New Zealand’s partnership and look forward to working closely with you and the international organizations in implementing collaborative and innovative programmes to effectively proceed with the rebuilding and reconstruction phase. There is still a long way to go but by GOD’s grace, we will emerge a stronger and more resilient and hopeful nation.”

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