A Belfast parish is collecting donations for an orphanage in the Philippines which is opening its doors to children in need following the devastating Typhoon Haiyan on November 7.
St Stephen and St Luke’s has been supporting the charity Global Reconciliation Project, which runs two orphanages on Mindanao Island, for the past 14 years.
Parishioner George McGrand is the charity’s programme co–ordinator, and he is appealing for other parishes in the Diocese of Connor to support this appeal.
George has lived in the Philippines and visits every year. He said: “Before the economic downturn we ran outreach projects in the community, mainly in agriculture, but we have reduced those programmes and are focusing on the two orphanages, the House of Joy which is for older children and Angel House which is for babies and younger children.
“Our island was not affected by the typhoon, but because of the situation in other parts of the Philippines, both orphanages have opened their doors to take in children from the Island of Leyte which is in the midst of the disaster zone. Things are still very confused but we understand the children should be arriving in the next week.”
Items required include clothing, blankets, bed linen, shoes, and especially summer clothes for children and babies. The orphanages also need powdered baby food, nappies, children’s toothbrushes, toothpaste and bars of soap. The charity does not require liquids, liquid soaps or toys.
“Cash donations are very gladly received and there are no administrations costs, so all money will be forwarded to the orphanages and will be with them within 24–48 hours,” George said.
“If any donated items are unsuitable for tropical climates such as winter clothing these will be sold for recycling within Northern Ireland to help cover the shipment costs, so anything that is of little or no value to you can be made into great value for the children in the Philippines.”
George is willing to collect bulk donations from parishes around the diocese, please contact him on 07850 695479. He is also happy to attend churches, clubs and organisations to give a presentation on the work of the charity.
To see more of the work carried out by the orphanages supported by parishioners at St Stephen and St Luke, visit the Facebook page of the Angel House Orphanage, Philippines.
Our picture show one–year–old baby J who has arrived at the Angel House Orphanage since the typhoon. The orphanage Facebook page reports that he is still adjusting to his new environment and cries every day.