November 14, 2007 > An evening of hope
An evening of hope
By Anuja Seith
On Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 of 2006, many families in the Bicol region of the Philippines, mainly inhabited by farmers and fisherman, saw the worst nightmare of their lives. Typhoon Durian, or Reming as it is called in native language, flooded the area, trigged landslides, filled land with volcanic ashes and caused damage to property leaving hundreds of people homeless. Like any natural disaster, this one too ripped apart souls and lives. As people gather threads of their lives to start afresh, a community based initiative is gaining momentum in our own backyard to rebuild the lives of these displaced people.
This Project was conceived in partnership with Gawad Kalinga, a Philippines based non-profit group, after Milpitas resident and real estate agent Celia Salazar visited the Philippines and witnessed the consequences of this disaster. "We are going to help 100 poor and homeless families by building a holistic village which will have a school, child and youth development, healthcare and livelihood program," said Salazar.
From miles away, our community hopes to help this region that received little media coverage and minimal relief aid forcing people to live in shanties or tents with walls made of dried Nipa leaves (Nipa is similar to a coconut tree). This material cannot protect from rain or wind. This initiative's goal is to raise $ 300,000 by Jan. 31 through donations and sponsorships. A dinner program called "An Evening of Hope" will officially launch this project on Friday, Dec. 7. Funds raised will be used to build permanent homes with concrete, an extremely expensive material in Philippines.
"An Evening of Hope" invites sponsors who can participate in this humane cause while gaining publicity at the event. Though any donation is welcome, a contribution of $250 will pay one month's salary for a child and youth coordinator; $500 provide for a community maker for a village, and donations of $1500 will build a roof for a family of four.
People of the Bay Area are asked to join this effort. Help a village that, with a bit of assistance, is willing and able to utilize its skills and available resources to regain its economic vitality.
For more information call Celia Salazar at (408) 956-9803.
An Evening of Hope
Friday, Dec. 7
No Host Bar and Auction: 6 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Dinner Program and Project Launch: 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
The Malavalli Banquet Hall
India Community Center
525 Los Coches St., Milpitas
$ 100 per person or $ 1000 per table
RSVP to Celia Salazar by Nov. 16 at Salazar_Celia@yahoo.com