Help from South Korea arrives in Cebu town | Inquirer News
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Help from South Korea arrives in Cebu town

/ 11:06 PM January 18, 2014

MEDELLIN, CEBU—A group of Filipino women based in South Korea and some Korean volunteers from the South Korean province of Gyeongsangbuk-do arrived here on Thursday to help distribute relief stocks and repair classrooms damaged by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”

Minister Eui-sik Park, who is among the Korean volunteers, said the volunteers from Korea chose Medellin town as aid beneficiary since relief and reconstruction efforts are already pouring in in Tacloban City and other parts of Leyte province.

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Park added that the people who organized the relief effort in Korea wanted to bring help to towns like Medellin. He said they brought in relief and school packs.

Park added that the group also brought in 800 kilograms of rice, sanitary pads and clothes that they are set to distribute to 300 households in the town.

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Tearsan Jae Lee, a businessman and a Korean national now based in Medellin, noted that relief and rehabilitation efforts had been concentrated in other areas hit by Yolanda.

“We have big damage in Medellin but lots of people donate to Leyte, Daanbantayan, other places. [There are] many problems here, many damaged houses, many homeless people. But they all went to Leyte. That’s why I asked friends to come here and help,” Lee explained.

He urged other Koreans based in Cebu province to also help in rehabilitation efforts in Medellin and other towns in northern Cebu.

The group’s activities included the repair and repainting of eight classrooms in  Medellin National Science and Technology School’s elementary department and 14 classrooms in Medellin National High School.

They also distributed school supplies to 800 students of the two schools.

Carmela Maderazo, one of the 16 Filipino volunteers, told the Inquirer that she volunteered to help typhoon survivors in this town get back on their feet.

Maderazo, who moved with her husband to South Korea in 2005, added that they had also prepared  a series of outreach programs for the town, which included sports activities and feeding programs.

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During a feeding session held on Thursday, the group served Korean dishes, including kimchi, a traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables with seasoning, and samgyeopsal, thin strips of fried pork belly.

They also served a Filipino dish, pancit bihon.

The office of  Multicultural Family Support Center of Gyeongsangbuk-do, a province in South Korea, has helped organize Filipino women married to South Korean nationals to do the volunteer work.

The center also prepared another volunteer work for summer. The group will be staying until Jan. 21.

Medellin National High School principal Nenita Loreto told the Inquirer that she was thankful for the help that came from South Korea.

Loreto said the Department of Education  had allowed the volunteer group to use their maintenance and other operating expenses  fund for the repair of the classrooms.

Since the resumption of classes on Jan. 6, Loreto said attendance in classes in the town had reached 92 percent despite the destruction wrought by Yolanda.

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