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Singapore Red Cross: 70 Years Of Serving Humanity, And How You Can Help Too

Get involved and do good this school holiday

Photos: Singapore Red Cross

5 Years On: Remembering Typhoon Haiyan (Super Typhoon Yolanda)

One of the most powerful typhoons in recorded history, Typhoon Haiyan (known in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda) pummelled South China, Vietnam, Caroline Islands and the Philippines from 3 to 11 November 2013. With generous support from the People of Singapore, the Singapore Red Cross delivered emergency supplies, mobilised one advanced and three medical missions to Ormoc, and supported large-scale relief operations across the affected areas in the Philippines.

This November, SRC commemorates the 5th anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan through a photo exhibition, Bangon. Arise. Stories of Hope & Resilience. From 2 - 4 November 2018 at The Cathay, the exhibition, inspired by the survivors’ strength and resilience, features first-hand accounts and impact stories of lives rebuilt, with the help of the donor community.

Five years on, survivors of Typhoon Haiyan have indeed ‘bangon’ (rise) again. Witness the power of humanity, the early recovery efforts, and the thoughtful efforts to ‘build back better,’ across projects in health, education, housing and community, throughout the Philippines.

Weekender brings you a sneak preview of the exhibition: stories of three typhoon-affected families overcoming challenges against all odds.

Story By: Cindy Kartika. Photo By: Lee Siew Yian

With seven kids in tow, living in squalid conditions, it is not surprising that at least one child of Maricris Tolones, 36, will be ill every month.

The Abaca Health Centre in Leyte, funded by the Singapore Red Cross, has brought much relief to her and her family. The family receives free consultations, medications and checkups. All Maricris’ children were immunised at the centre. During her pregnancy, Maricris went to the health centre for regular check-ups.

“The health centre is so close to our home, the Red Cross volunteers at the health centre would come over to let me know whenever there is a check-up or an immunisation session,” said Maricris, with gratitude.

Story by: Alina Tee. Photo by: July de Leon

With a toddler clinging on to him, Alex Ongpauco Zafra had to navigate chest-deep waters in the immediate aftermath of Typhoon Ketsana. Following the family’s relocation to a shelter in Botolan, Zambales two years ago, Alex is relieved that his family has a safe place to live in, and need not worry about future floods.

“We’re happy now. I see this place as our home. This is the only thing we have now,” said Alex Ongpauco Zafra, 63 (pictured above with his daughter, 11, and niece).

Story By: Selene Ong. Photo By: Wong Leong Jeam

Gaurana, Ma. Denia N., a housewife, feels blessed to be living in Gawad Kalinga (GK) Laura Drive Residences in Taguig City. Her home gives her family an inexplicable sense of ownership, assurance and security of a permanent home. This is in stark contrast to the times when they were living in poverty along the streets. Today, her home is equipped with proper facilities and household appliances. Mosquito and insect bites are no longer a concern for the family.

Seven Decades of Serving Humanity, Saving Lives

At the exhibition is a special showcase of SRC’s local humanitarian services, marking its 70 years of service to humanity. Singapore Red Cross ambassadors and volunteer leaders will be on hand to share their experiences and cause-involvement opportunities, to recruit more people on board the lifesaving mission of SRC.

Here are some ideas for you to, as a family, get involved in their work and to do good!

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Give Blood, Save Lives

Singapore Red Cross (SRC) has been the appointed National Blood Donor Recruiter since April 2001. In partnership with the Health Sciences Authority, we work towards ensuring an adequate supply of safe blood to meet our nation’s transfusion needs. SRC focuses on three key areas; promoting and raising awareness of importance of blood donation, recruiting and inspiring donors to embrace a lifestyle of voluntary, regular blood donation, including motivating youth to give blood and retaining and recognising the contributions of blood donors and blood mobile organisers to the National Blood Programme.

How you can help

  • Donate blood at one of our Bloodbanks; Bloodbank@HSA (opposite Outram MRT), Bloodbank@Dhoby Ghaut (basement 1 of Dhoby Xchange), Bloodbank@Woodlands (level 5 of Civic Centre), Bloodbank@Westgate Tower (level 10 of Westgate Tower).
  • Donating blood together can be a fun, enriching bonding activity. Rally your family members to participate in a blood bank tour or make a blood donation.
  • Spread word amongst your loved ones to encourage them to donate blood and promote a culture of blood donation in your family.

“Oliver weighed only 1 pound when he was born. Doctors often needed to draw blood to conduct the multitude of tests required for Oliver’s survival. But whenever blood was drawn, Oliver would become deathly ill and needed blood transfusions for replenishment. Oliver spent 201 days in the neonatal intensive care unit and survived a critical heart surgery with the help of 15 blood transfusions. We are forever grateful to all the blood donors. Without them, Oliver would not be home with us today.” (Mr Brendan Hanson and Ms Tan Soo Lin)

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