On November 10, 2018, EMBRACE with project partner AKBAYANihan Foundation, entered the narrow alleys of Barangay 849, Pandacan and Barangay 600, Sta. Mesa in Manila to provide relief support in terms of rice and noodles to families affected by fire that rendered some families completely homeless on All Saints and All Souls Days.
“You are the very first organization to reach out to us right after the disaster and for that we are very grateful,” said Puring Go, Chairman of Barangay 600. She spearheaded the distribution in her areas together with EMBRACE staff and AKBAYANihan volunteers. AKBAYANihan Coordinator Jordan Gutierrez added that there were other organizations that also provided relief items but they were already cooked food that had to be eaten right away. It was the first food packs, according to him, to be given to the beneficiaries by an organization.
A beneficiary who was very grateful for the relief items commented, “We are thankful for whatever we have received, be it sardines or noodles because this is proof that we are provided already even just for a few days, enough to live for another day. Thank you!”
Presently, some families are trying to rebuild what was left of their houses. However, families whose houses were completely burned down by the fire remained in the evacuation centers (Baltao Covered Court in Sta. Mesa and tents by the roadside in Sta. Mesa). Unsalvageable materials were disposed and strong men were seen hammering and repairing their damaged houses.