With deep concern for the devastated communities in the region, many Freemasons in England, Wales and Jamaica rallied together to raise a total of £185,385 to support the long-term relief and rebuilding efforts.
Since July 2014, global children’s charity Plan UK has been using the donation to rebuild fourteen classrooms and two health centres that were destroyed or badly damaged in East and West Samar; two of the worst hit areas in the disaster zone.
The return of these essential services is vital to the recovery and regeneration of the devastated areas; since the construction work began spirits in the communities there have already lifted.
The project is on track to finish by the end of March 2015; once completed it will benefit an estimated 4,720 people in East and West Samar.
The new and upgraded buildings will be permanent structures with first-class facilities, built to withstand future disasters. The health centres will have crucial birthing facilities including scales, blood-pressure apparatus, examining tables with stirrups and wheelchairs. The schools will be stocked with blackboards, learning materials, tables, chairs, and toilets.
The donations have been collected and managed by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. After giving careful consideration of several regeneration projects proposed by charities working in the disaster zone, the funds were given to Plan UK. The Freemasons’ Grand Charity receives regular reports from Plan UK on the progress of the project, so that it can help to ensure the best use of the funds.