LIU Rallies for Relief in the Philippines Following Super Typhoon Haiyan
Michael Schiavetta,Director of Editorial Services
Brooklyn, N.Y. - LIU Global student Keith Scott (pictured) returned to his homeland in the Philippines earlier this month to conduct humanitarian research when he found himself caught in the middle of one of the most catastrophic natural disasters the Philippines has ever seen—Super Typhoon Haiyan.
Originally planning to study the successful work of Grameen Bank—the first microfinance institution started by banker, economist, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammud Yunis—and gain an understanding of how microfinance could be used to alleviate poverty in the Philippines in the rural village of Galintuja, Scott quickly switched his efforts in the wake of this disaster from research to providing much needed aid to his community.
“Everyone here is banding together to donate whatever they have to help in relief efforts,” Scott said. The typhoon has reportedly killed more than 4,000 people in the Philippines alone. “Whether that may be donations, care packages or used clothes, people are making an effort to try to improve the situation.”
In the midst of what Filipino’s refer to as “typhoon season,” the Philippines has encountered one earthquake and four typhoons. One in particular, Typhoon Santi, hit Scott close to home. “Despite the warning, I thought nothing of the typhoon. It was not until the following morning when I fully realized the severity. I saw trees and electric posts toppled over and roofs torn off from houses.”
Scott added that now, because of the damaging effects of Super Typhoon Haiyan, the victims of Santi—most of whom are still starving and homeless—are reverting to more violent measures like looting and ransacking for relief.
“Despite the dysfunction occurring, any help is appreciated. The Philippines requires the support of the global community in the face of the calamities which have transpired in the past month,” said Scott.
The greater LIU community is mobilizing its own resources in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. Following a Nov. 18 interfaith candlelight service at LIU Post, the campus community plans to have proceeds from the spring 2014 Snowball dance event go to disaster relief efforts. At LIU Brooklyn, student organizations are organizing a Dance for Hope fundraiser, also in the spring 2014 semester, to provide additional support. Students have already set up donation centers throughout both campuses.
“As with Hurricane Sandy last year, LIU campuses are proactive in ensuring that we are assisting relief efforts globally, locally, and regionally,” said Natasha Lewis, associate director of student life for LIU Brooklyn. “These fine efforts are another example of LIU’s dedication to improving the greater global community.”
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