Club ready to help in typhoon crisis

Children and teachers at the Morpeth Aeta School in Kinaragan, Limay, Bataan, in the Philippines.
Children and teachers at the Morpeth Aeta School in Kinaragan, Limay, Bataan, in the Philippines.
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CHARITY supporters in Morpeth are waiting anxiously for news of how their friends in the Philippines have fared in the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.

Winds of 200mph swept through the country on Friday and left thousands of people dead and hundreds of thousands homeless.

Morpeth residents Jenny and Peter Wallum spend a large part of the year in the Philippines, where Mrs Wallum founded the Entrepreneur Volunteer Association Charity Foundation (EVACF) in 1991.

It organises livelihood projects for the Aeta people displaced by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, and offers microloans, training, scholarships and school building.

To date, 45 schools have been built and Morpeth Lions Club sponsors the Morpeth Kinaragen Aeta School on the island of Luzon.

While Mr and Mrs Wallum have been in touch to say they are safe in Manila, there has been no news of the school communities in the Bataan region. It is hoped the buildings will have withstood the typhoon and been used as evacuation centres.

The Lions-backed school, which has seven teachers and 90 pupils, is partly made of traditional materials with blocks of pumice and ash and a corrugated iron sheet roof. The club is ready to step in if repairs are needed and has donated £500 to help the wider area.

President Geoff Bushell said: “It is good news to know Peter and Jenny are safe, but it is heartbreaking to think of the devastation across the Philippines. We considered how we could provide support to those who have survived and agreed this is best achieved through Lions International.”