12 November 2013, 23:42

Filipino Americans engage in help after Haiyan typhoon hit Philippines

Filipino Americans engage in help after Haiyan typhoon hit Philippines

With recent Haiyan typhoon that hit Philippines thousands of people all over the world are eager to help the victims to overcome this tragedy. People unite in organizations, establish Facebook groups in order to divide the responsibilities and provide the population with the things that they lack.

One of such organizations within the US is known as Filipino American group that consists of the Americans of Filipino descents, currently living in the States. It is a minor group of about 3.4 million people, or 1.1% of the US population. According to the American Community it is the country's second-largest self-reported Asian ancestry group after Chinese Americans.

Filipinos, better known as "Fil-Ams" or “Pinoy” have reacted very quickly when the typhoon hit the Philippines three days ago. With the help of Facebook, they have distributed the information not only about what happened, but also with the information that helps people to find each other. They have contacted the Philippine Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations, they have asked people within the groups to reach out to their communities such as work, universities, churches etc. They have created money donations for the survivors, updating regularly how much money were transferred from various countries.

One of the members of the Filipino American group on Facebook wrote straight after the typhoon came: “I wrote this to the Filipino Student Associations in Florida and Georgia: "To all the FSAs: Please copy this image from the Philippine Red Cross and change your cover photo of your Facebook page to it! This is the time to show our fellow countryman how 'Filipino Strong' we are! I've already seen typhoon support efforts by FSA@UCF. Great job UCF!...So, how can your FSA help?" You or your organization can help too!”. 289 people liked his post and 228 people shared it on their own page.

Despite all that, people united with such a horrible catastrophe worry that the money and the help that they are offering might go to another source. Another member of the group commented on the poster under the donations information: “WARNING TO ALL CORRUPT OFFICIALS IN THE PHILIPPINES: Don't even think about trying to find a way of personally profiting from this unprecedented national catastrophe. If you attempt to steal and pilfer from all the foreign aid pouring in, trust that social media will expose you and turn your lives into a living hell”.

Member of the group are also sharing links of various media reports aiming for help, finding TV makers and news reporters who might announce about the possible financial aid that they are offering. Mutual contacts, communications of all sorts, engagement of people in the moment of the disaster show how much could be done in the situation like that. Users are also offered to try Google Finder to look for the person missing; there is a list on the web site with the survivors. In the face of the tragedy people stay united praying for their homeland, searching for their friends and families but the more important helping in every possible way they can.

Typhoon Haiyan hit Philippines on Saturday resulting with the death of 1,744 people. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council more than 2,400 people are hurt and injured. 3mln people are left homeless, hospitals are full, and the authorities are in need of medical help, as well as of food and financial supplies.

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