France-Philippines United Action continues to raise funds for Yolanda victims

In Photo: Solenn Heussaff’s painting

Three years since the powerful winds of Supertyphoon Yolanda blew through the Visayas region in November 2013 displacing 14 million people and causing more than 6,000 fatalities, the country continues to recover from the damages, with thousands still struggling to rebuild their lives.

A family in FP-UA Village site 2 in Daanbantayan
A family in FP-UA Village site 2 in Daanbantayan

Even today, most of Yolanda victims still live in flimsy shelters that are unlikely to withstand the next typhoon. Because of the Philippines’s location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and the intensifying effect of climate change, Yolanda, unfortunately, will not be the last super typhoon the country will experience.

Just a few weeks ago, Supertyphoon Lawin made the top of the headlines, after sweeping through Northern Luzon, with strength and magnitude reminiscent of November 2013.

At the call of France-Philippines United Action (FP-UA), the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) foundation, a group of local artists have put their creativity toward the service of typhoon victims.

Popular artist and celebrity Solenn Heussaff and three of the country’s top emerging artists, Alfonso Recto, Piaget Martelino and Chris Verayo, each created original artwork that will be auctioned off to fund a project of the FP-UA Foundation—a disaster-resilient village benefiting victims of Yolanda.

Children in FP-UA Village site 1 in Daanbantayan
Children in FP-UA Village site 1 in Daanbantayan

The auction will take place during the biggest French event of the year, Soirée Beaujolais on November 29 in Pasay City. It will be the 26th edition of this annual event organized by the FCCI, which will gather more than 1,500 people from the French and Filipino business community.

Proceeds from auction will go to the completion of a rehabilitation village in Bogo City, in the north of Cebu island, a region that was largely devastated by the passage of Yolanda in 2013.

This village will include 46 houses and a multipurpose center designed to withstand up to Intensity 8 earthquakes, and strong winds of 275 to 300 kilometers per hour. It will welcome more than 200 people, and is set to be completed by the middle of next year.

The FP-UA Foundation is partnering with Habitat for Humanity Philippines for the project and has already received funding from various companies, including Cités Unies France, SYD Conseil, Pernod Ricard, Worldwide Food Distribution, Republic Cement, Megacem, The Wong Chu King Foundation, Delfingen, Asia Inspection, Annexus International and Archetype.

As the foundation of the chamber, the aim of FP-UA is to encourage the French business community to give back to the Philippines through community outreach projects.

The foundation was launched in 2013 as a response to the widespread damage inflicted by Yolanda, known as the strongest and most violent typhoon to hit the country in a decade.

FP-UA was swiftly created under the French Chamber of Commerce to coordinate the relief and rehabilitation initiatives of the French business community. Since then, two villages of more than 200 disaster-resilient houses have been built in Daanbantayan, also in the north of Cebu Island, and now host families who had lost their homes to the powerful typhoon.


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