Don Bosco Victorias, 19 January 2021 -- Two weeks ago there was a flash flood during the first days of 2021 caused by the Suba river around the Salesian Parish of St Joseph the Worker in Victorias (Bacolod diocese, Bishop Patrick Buzon, SDB). The Salesian community of Victorias (first SDB presence in the Philippines, 1951: https://donboscovictorias.org) has started a magnificent solidarity movement involving also many local society and Salesian family donors.
It is a great challenge for thousands of families around Victorias whose homese were destroyed and who lack of food. During the past two week not fewer than 2600 families have been assisted and many families even took the shelter in the large Shrine of Mary the Immaculate (Cane Town). On the FB of the Victorias Parish you can read the help offered and the donations received every day - both financial or the many necessary relief goods.
Fr Joriz Calsa, SDB (FIS Youth Ministry delegate) shares: "Blessings of help poured also some of our friends in Cebu, a lot from the local communities and Don Bosco Past Pupils of different schools. So far, we are on our second week giving food assistance. For past two weeks we have distributed the food packs and other relief good to 2600 families. We focused on this help, since the materials for reconstruction cost a lot and it is beyond our means. Rather, it is more the task of the local government. We did appeal on our St Joseph Worker Parish Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/stjoseph.worker.96).
We did an appeal on our St Joseph Worker Parish FB, the rectors reported the need during the FIS rectors meeting, and we received a help from some SDB settings around Visayas and Mindanao as well from some known SDB sponsors.
Our parish initiative was very much appreciated especially when we opened the doors of our large Shrine (Immaculate Conception of Mary, Cane Town) as evacuation center which that very night had 87 persons sheltered under God's guidance. And also we were appreciated for the distribution of food assistance for two weeks until now.
We will be bring also this concern in the social action group of the Bacolod diocese to advocate for whatever can stop the flash floods not only here in Victorias but also in other areas like Silay, Talisay, Bacolod, Magalona and San Carlos City."
It's moving to read on the SJW Parish Facebook page the daily entries of donations in cash, through the BPI (bank) or in kind: boxes of noodles, clothes, blankets, towels, shoes, sacks of rice, soap, biscuit, canned good and other needed items.
All this relief work is possible only thanks to many parish volunteers who pack the relief goods to be distributed on the following day. The packs are distributed initially in the Cane Town Shrine, then from house to house and the 'graces' of received and given are ongoing.
We give thanks for this ongoing solidarity movement in Victorias as a sign of hope for many affected by yet another natural disaster. The St Joseph the Worker parish of Victorias (Negros Island) covers a rather large rural area with a population making their livelihood on agriculture.