Thousands join run for ‘Yolanda’ rehabilitation program

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THOUSANDS joined the Yolanda 3 kilometers (walk) run around the Quezon City Memorial Circle on Sunday that was organized by the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC).

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This is the first major step to help the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in rebuilding their lives and reconstructing their homes and communities, said NAPC Secretary Jose Eliseo Rocamora.

Rocamora said he is very happy with the reception and appreciation his department got from the public, people’s organizations, government agencies and local governments, big businesses and international organizations, which did not only join the cause but even donated valuable amounts.

Of particular delight to him was seeing those in wheelchairs, the blind, children, middle aged and senior citizens joining the fun run, Rocamora told the Times.

The first female finisher, Kate Donovan, a US-based journalist and a member of the United Nation Childrens Fund, told The Times that she was bound for Tacloban on Sunday morning after finishing the race.

“It’s hard to run because of the humidity aside from the very early start of the run at 5 a.m.,” she said.

Rocamora said the victims have started rebuilding but “we are raising funds to make them start building back better, away from the danger areas and better prepared to face the frequent onslaughts of more severe typhoons and extreme weather,” he added.

Though we emphasize helping people to rebuild their communities, we also recognize the fact that rising above the devastation would depend largely on the people themselves, Rocamora said.

The fun run was a collaboration of NAPC with the Habitat for Humanity Foundation Philippines, Alliance of Seven, Operation Compassion and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.

Rocamora said their project is aimed at helping the Yolanda survivors through the fastest and cheapest way of restoring their homes in the Eastern Visayas.

“We can’t get into building houses for them, so we emphasize on helping rather than building. For that skill, we’ve partnered with Habitat for Humanity Philippines,” he explained.

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