Younghusbands build houses in typhoon-ravaged Cebu town

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014


PHILIPPINE Azkals James and Phil Younghusband yesterday joined 100 volunteers from 12 countries to build houses for typhoon Yolanda survivors in the town of Sta. Fe in Bantayan Island, Cebu.

The football players participated in the post-typhoon Yolanda relief and recovery assistance that Prudence Foundation extended to the town.

The foundation’s $2-million assistance to the town includes housing materials for 135 disaster-resilient homes, 183 motorized bancas with fishing nets and 140 pedicabs to provide sustainable livelihood to residents.

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Aside from the prospect of getting new homes, typhoon Yolanda survivors in the town were excited to meet the famous football players.

As early as 6 a.m. yesterday, students gathered at the grounds of the Sta. Fe Elementary School to meet the Younghusbands and employees of the Prudential Corp. Asia and Pru Life UK, who volunteered to build houses at a relocation site in Barangay Maricaban under the Prudence Foundation’s Regional PruVolunteer Programme.

Welcome

A band welcomed the football players who arrived at 8 a.m. on board a jeepney with Prudence Foundation executive director Marc Fancy.

A rope was placed around the quadrangle to keep the crowd away from the Younghusbands, but authorities were unable to prevent the students from running toward the football players.

Sta. Fe Mayor Jose Esgana thanked Prudence Foundation and the Younghusbands for helping the town.

The Younghusbands also helped give out medals to high school students of Sta. Fe who earlier won the athletics division in the recent Cebu Provincial Meet in Argao.

Football

After the awarding, the Younghusbands and Fancy played football with elementary students at the field of the Sta. Fe Elementary School where classes are still held in makeshift tents.

The classrooms were damaged when typhoon Yolanda made landfall in Bantayan Island last Nov. 8.

Fancy, in his speech at the school, said Prudential and Eastspring Investments are committed to support Asian communities where they operate.

“We understand that with the magnitude of devastation, affected areas in the Philippines still continue to experience challenges,” he added.

James and Phil Younghusbands, who both wore red Prudence Foundation shirts, seemed not to mind the heat as they shoveled sand to be mixed with cement during the construction of houses at the Barangay Maricaban resettlement area.

“Being a volunteer is not work. You are here for a reason,” Phil said.

His brother James said he hoped that there would be more volunteers for the construction of houses for Yolanda survivors.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 26, 2014.

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