Compassion after Calamity in the Philippines

In the makeshift hospital set up in Manila airport, a twenty one year old woman gave birth to a beautiful baby as she sought shelter in the wreckage of the post-typhoon Philippines. Out of so much destruction and death, a new life came fresh into the world. Hopefully the birth of this baby will be an omen for a brighter and better future for Philippines, but right now the baby is another mouth to feed and a bright future seems far away.

US Marines aid Philippine civilians in the aftermath of the deadly Typhoon Haiyan.

US Marines aid Philippine civilians in the aftermath of the deadly Typhoon Haiyan.

Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines so devastatingly that up to two and a half thousand may have lost their lives. Villages have been destroyed and houses flattened. More than 650,000 people have been displaced due to the typhoon. Some sources claim the typhoon was taller than eight feet at its peak, while some claim it was higher. The typhoon tore through the Philippines and has sent the country into a calamitous environment. Indeed, the situation is so dire that the President of the Philippines called a state of national calamity.

People have painted on buildings “We need food and water,” and pictures of hungry children standing in front of this plea have gone viral on the popular social media outlet Tumblr. The suffering of the people living in the Philippines right now is severe. Relief organizations from all over the world, in addition to national governments, have been sending in supplies and bodies to help in the wreckage. In fact, the overall response after the destruction of Typhoon Haiyan has been a testament to human compassion.

The United Kingdom donated 15 million dollars and food supplies, the United States mobilized at least 180 marines and food supplies, the United Nations donated 25 million dollars, New Zealand donated one million dollars, and China donated two hundred thousand dollars. These are just five examples; the list extends beyond these countries and organizations and shows how compassionate the international community is being towards the Philippines, the victim of an uncontrollable and terrible natural disaster.

The message to take away from this horrendous natural disaster is the value of such a positive and incredible response from people all over the world. This kind of moral lesson echoes those we have recently heard at our own Service Symposium, and this article serves to simply reaffirm the importance of community service and the amazing compassion of the world. Looking at the news in today’s society, it’s usually discouraging. Every day we read about child abduction cases, for example, and inevitably lose a little bit of faith in humanity. But this kind of news, although beyond disastrous and desolating, will hopefully give us comfort in our faith in people and humanity. The unrelenting service and aid of thousands of international workers and the flood of much needed supplies from those not affected by the storm proves compassion is, thankfully, not dead.

The Philippines needs help. The international spotlight is centered on them and relief workers are doing their best to supply and aid them. But, they’re not just giving the people of Philippines food, water and medicine; they’re also supplying compassion and empathy. These two facets of relief will hopefully go as long of a way on the road to recovery as the tangible services being rendered.

— Megan Evershed, World News Editor

Posted by on November 13, 2013. Filed under World News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry