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Monday 15 May 2017
 
New homes in the Philippines after the Yolanda-Haiyan typhoon in the Visayas Islands

Already at the end of 2013, thanks to your help, AMU had been able to cope with the severe problems caused by the typhoon and support local people.

During the first months of the emergency phase, over 2,600 boxes were distributed with long lasting food supply, medicines, bottled water, electric torches, waterproof tarpaulins, mosquito nets, mattresses, blankets, clothing and personal hygiene products to the families of Panay and Leyte Islands.

Subsequently, a mid-term and long-term project phase began with AFNonlus – Action for New Families Association Onlus, committed to reconstruct some of the homes that were completely destroyed or heavily damaged by the typhoon. In the meanwhile AMU delivered 20 scholarships to facilitate and allow access to education for girls and boys from poor families affected by the typhoon.
The key aspect was therefore to think about making these populations less vulnerable to future events, providing them with material infrastructures such as homes, but also with training and a preparation to improve their own economic conditions and that of their community.

What happens now?

Three families of the local community that used to reside on informal land, in shacks, before the typhoon, haven’t had so far the economic opportunity to rebuild a solid home, despite having managed for the past two years to find some sort of housing or to repair somehow their own home.

For this reason, in May 2017, thanks to the donations that AMU has already received, a project for the reconstruction of homes for typhoon victims has begun. The project is expected to end in early 2018.

The stories of the beneficiary families

Alan’s Family – Before the typhoon they lived in a shack near the sea, but it was completely swept away by typhoon. In the tragedy he lost everything but his family members were saved and were accommodated in one of the community families, also struck by the typhoon. Recently,
Alan died of a tumour, and his wife has to take care of their four children, all in schooling age.
Anna’s family – They live in an illegal shack in a poor area of the city, they do not own the land and they could be evicted at any time. They have repaired the house the best they could, and to this day the shack is shared between the parents, 3 children and the companion and the son of one of them. They live on the poor earnings of her father’s work as a street vendor of food snacks, and Anna’s work as a parish secretary: a total of 5 Euros per day. The other children, married, live in precarious economic situations as well and can only sometimes help their parents.
Josefa’s family – They live in a shack on land that is not owned by them, in a narrow alley and with little light and air. “With the donations we received earlier, we could buy a small 70 sq m plot in a more secure area, and we have a small but dignified cottage project.”
Meanwhile…
The spirit of fraternity has also sparked the local families who had already solved their problems. So a family that had their home already repaired, offered to shelter Alan’s family up to the construction of their home. Another family of the community, having a large enough land, decided to give a share of it to build other houses for other families.

With the spirit of participation and reciprocity, the candidate families will, depending on their potential, contribute with workforce or economic contribution to the cost of building their home.

Thursday 4 May 2017
 
Doing business is an adventure!

Entrepreneurs are born or made? Two stories from Brazil

The Strengthening Program of Businesses of Inclusion and Communion (Profor) aims to support entrepreneurial initiatives with the characteristic of social inclusion and communion. The Program offers selected projects technical training and accompaniment, in addition to initial capital. To date, 10 companies have been selected and Roberto Luna, called “Campo Fertil”, is one of these.

Roberto lives in Garanhuns, north-east of Brazil, with his wife Danielle and their three children. He is an entrepreneur in the agricultural sector, but he is not quite common. Passionate about agricultural work and full of enthusiasm, after agronomic studies has started working in the sector. In time he managed to create a small company with various employees. One day, however, the company lost its main customer, and Roberto suddenly faced heavy debts.
In that situation he could no longer pay people to work, and he offered to his employees to become partners to carry on the job and divide the profits. Only 2 out of 10 people agreed, but it was enough to start over. “With these two people, Roberto tells us, little by little a model of partnership and collaboration has developed.” Together with his partners, he developed an innovative way of working and management (more…)

Wednesday 3 May 2017
 
Jordan: a country that welcomes, enchants and teaches

In Amman, the project to support Iraqi refugees and Jordanian citizens in need continues

One of the realities that strikes anyone who comes into contact with the refugee emergency in the Middle East is the indisputable ability of the Jordanian government to accommodate so many people without having any concrete conditions to do so. Jordan, in fact, is formed by 80% of the desert and is one of the poorest countries in the world in water resources. About 85% of the food needs are imported. Yet 25% of the Jordanian national budget is used for refugees.
Today in Jordan there are about 656,000 Syrian refugees. Iraqis registered at the United Nations until September 2016 are about 59,000. As international aid is directed mainly to Syrians, Iraqis in Jordan – albeit with the government’s commitment – are in great difficulty. They can work only in precarious ways, paid for the day, and to get at least some kind of remuneration, they work undeclared, underpaid and are often exploited.
This was the scenario that pushed AMU to support the great work Caritas Jordan has been doing for years. (more…)

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