PWC conducts quake relief operation
In October 2019, areas of Mindanao was wrecked by 3 different earthquakes—a magnitude 6.3 on October 16, 6.6 on October 29, and 6.5 on October 31—leaving the residents homeless and dependent on aid until present.
In response to the pressing needs of the devastated communities, PWC stakeholders through the Office of the Community Extension Services’ We Care We Share program took part in enabling and organizing a relief operation, starting with the donation collection on November 4-11, 2019. The repacking of goods took place on November 12, with students from different units as volunteers.
Simultaneously, the different programs of the Tertiary Education Department separately collected donations intended for PWC’s own students affected by the calamity.
Deployment to affected area
On November 15, personnel from different PWC offices volunteered in the turnover of goods at Barangay Malongon, Magsaysay, Davao del Sur. The relief operation at the farthest barangay from the municipality’s poblacion was coordinated with local government offices which provided vehicles and volunteers for assistance. PWC distributed clothing, medicine, water, and ready-to-eat food to meet immediate needs and was able to provide for all 174 families of Barangay Malongon.
Psychosocial care activity
“In our interview with DSWD, it was revealed that among the most challenging aspect was providing care for the kids,” shared CES coordinator Paolo Naval, “there are no schools or any proper venue to hold psychological aid activities in—everything is makeshift from homes to health centers.”
Alongside the distribution of donations, PWC personnel formally trained in psychological first aid conducted an activity for the children of Malongon. A mini-counselling session transpired and the children were encouraged to share their dreams, write them down on a piece of paper then folded into planes symbolic of launching them into becoming reality.
The residents further expressed anxiety given the constant aftershocks and the uncertainty in rebuilding their homes and livelihood. “This poses a challenge for us as an institution,” said Mr. Naval, “we are not here just to give a band aid solution when we can explore more ways of helping especially now that the affected are in the rehabilitation stage.”
Letters from PWC students
The Basic Education Department Filipino subject area also launched an initiative to reach out, this time in the form of letters. In an activity called “Liham at Dasal para sa mga Pamilyang Nasalanta ng Lindol”, students wrote messages and prayers which were sent to the affected families in hopes to uplift their spirits.
As an educational institution, PWC continues to extend aid and services to address rising needs in the community, setting a standard for its students to be honed with awareness and social responsibility.