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Helping Rebuild the Philippines

8th January, 2013

PRESS RELEASE

08 January 2013

Helping Rebuild the Philippines with Islamic Help

Al Najashi Village

A Birmingham charity is offering donors the chance to travel to the Philippines and help construct new homes for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
Islamic Help will take supporters to join its staff, volunteers and contractors for the construction of its Al Najashi Village, providing vital security of shelter for hundreds of victims.

With nearly 2 million people homeless as a result of Haiyan, housing is a priority for the Philippines’ population. This stage of Islamic Help’s relief operation will see the construction of 100 semi-permanent homes, to Sphere (the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response) standards. 

Each home will be built to last a minimum of 10 years and will be constructed by Filipino contractors and Islamic Help staff, volunteers and donors. Each property can house up to 8 people and will contain the basic necessities the family will need, including electricity and toilet facilities (a restroom). 

Made from wood and corrugated iron and fixed to the ground via steel stubs, the structures will be a lot stronger than the homes that many of the affected people used to live in and will enable them to expand the property in future if they wish. 

Islamic Help will be sending staff and volunteers to help with the construction. We are also offering donors the opportunity to go with us on deployment and take part in the construction project. Each home costs £2,500. Any donor contributing £3,000 or more will be eligible to join us on deployment to the Philippines.

THE DEVASTATION OF HAIYAN

Haiyan struck the Philippines on November 8, 2013, and left more than 6,000 confirmed dead, nearly 1,800 missing and 1.9 million homeless. Entire towns and villages were flattened, communities reduced to rubble. With safe drinking water and shelter priorities, Islamic Help launched an emergency relief operation to help affected communities.

Within days of the disaster, an Islamic Help team was in two of the worst-hit regions, Cebu and Tacloban, providing clean, safe drinking water. We provided water purification tablets, pumped water from contaminated wells and used mobile purification systems to make it safe for drinking and distributed it via trucks and tankers to needy areas. In total, nearly 100,000 survivors received safe drinking that otherwise would not have been available to them.

In the early history of Islam, a number of the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) followers fled Mecca to escape the persecution of the Meccan elders. Following the Prophet’s instructions, they travelled across the Arabian Desert and to East Africa, where they sought the protection of Aṣḥama ibn Abjar, the Christian Emperor (al-Najashi) of Aksum in Abyssinia. Ashama warmly greeted the Muslim refugees and after hearing about the closeness of Islam to the Christian religion granted them security in his land. Muslims have lived in Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) ever since and due to his wisdom and compassion were able to thrive in that society. It is in this spirit of brotherhood and compassion that Islamic Help seeks to extend its hand to the predominantly Christian population of the Philippines during its time of need and has named its village project after the emperor who gave refuge to Muslims.