URFSS relief efforts
Filipino students at the U of R gather donations for affected areas
Article: Robyn Tocker – A&C Editor
Aimee Castillo worried for her family when she heard of Typhoon Haiyan hitting the Philippines on Nov. 8. The president of the University of Regina Filipino Student Society (URFSS) says once she heard her family was safe she was “more concerned for the Filipinos in the affected area.”
In response to the disaster, URFSS held a fundraising lunch for two hours on Nov. 15 in the Luther College Student Lounge.
The $2140.30 raised was divided between Luther World Relief and Canadian Jesuits International, and will be sent to representatives in the Philippines. URFSS also collected 15 boxes of donations, including dry food, clothing, and blankets on Nov. 15.
Castillo says the money raised will be divided and used to help with the major concerns facing the Filipinos, such as housing, medicine, clothing, and food.
Dinah Tambalo, a member of URFSS with family in the Philippines, says she’s proud of the group for the work they did, but it’s heartbreaking to see what’s happened to the country. She was relieved to hear of her family’s safety. She says she was keeping up to date on the storm the day before it struck and, thanks to Facebook, her friends were able to share with her what was going on.
“It’s heartbreaking … it affected such a big part of the country.”
The Post-Doctorate student also explained how, a month before the typhoon arrived, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake rumbled through Bohol. The Philippine province was still in need of assistance before the typhoon started terrorizing the country.
Tambalo served food at the lunch fundraiser and says it was encouraging to see people willing to help out. The society did a good job of organizing the fundraiser, she says, especially since the typhoon happened during midterms.
Yet, Tambalo did notice there is a lack of information among the students. Some, she says, didn’t come talk to her about the typhoon until almost a week after it happened.
“It seems like people are willing to help if they know what’s going on.”
Castillo says the Canadian and the Saskatchewan government are doing their part to help. Tambalo is also satisfied with what the Saskatchewan government is doing, but she says the university could put more effort into informing students about how they can help. Tambalo makes a point that it’s not just about sending goods, but how to rehabilitate the country after its destruction.
URFSS plans to host more events in the future to help with relief efforts. Castillo says she is working towards holding a charity event with comedian Haris Khan, who has used his comedy shows to help out many deserving causes in the past. She also says she is arranging something with the Chamber Singers through their director Dr. Dominic Gregorio.
Castillo is grateful for her group’s hard work. “I’d like to say a thank you for the cooperation of everyone and their help with making the donations successful and for still helping.”