Manila, Philippines, March 8, 2014 – The Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) and the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) held the “International Conference on Yolanda Reconstruction: Bayanihan and Sogo-Fujo (相互扶助) Without Borders” at the Cocoon Boutique Hotel in Quezon City on March 8, 2014. The conference aimed to gather the wisdom of the international community and foster true partnership among the people of Asia and of the world in the face of worsening climate and natural disasters.
National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Administrator Usec. Eduardo Del Rosario’s keynote message for the conference was read by OCD– NCR Director Susana M. Cruz.
A total of 110 participants and resource persons including heads of AMDA’s chapters; partners in eight Asian countries, Australia, and Italy; the Asia Sogo-Fujo (相互扶助) Network for Emergency Relief (ASNET); international organizations that helped in the Yolanda response; local government officials from eastern Visayas; local government agencies like DSWD, DOH, DILG, and the AFP, civil society organizations, and members of the academe attended the conference.
Officials and representatives of towns and cities badly affected by Yolanda such as Giporlos, Eastern Samar and Tacloban City also made their presentations during the conference.
The conference culminated in a workshop on the lessons learned from the Yolanda experience and recommendations for future cooperation, and in a Manila Declaration on post-Yolanda reconstruction, which committed the participating organizations’ continuous support and assistance for the Yolanda-affected communities.
AMDA was among those who flew in to the country to offer their support in the Visayas and immediately partnered with the PRRM to provide humanitarian assistance through medical relief missions and distribution of relief goods, including portable solar lamps. AMDA’s volunteer medical doctors and PRRM worked together in northern Cebu, northern Iloilo, Negros Occidental and Eastern Samar.
AMDA, founded in Japan in 1984, is an international non-governmental, non-profit organization with 30 chapters and 47 collaborating organizations around the world. AMDA is dedicated to provide humanitarian efforts in the medical health care sector and provides emergency medical aid to people affected by natural as well as social disasters. AMDA has worked in more than 50 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe, in collaboration with governments, UN agencies, such as the High Commissioner for Refugees (HCR), World Health Organization (WHO), World Food Programme (WFP), Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and other specialized agencies and institutions.
The PRRM was founded in 1952 by a small group of influential and civic-spirited Filipinos – many of whom were leading educators, social workers, and industrialists- who set out with a mission to improve the living conditions of the rural poor in the midst of a complex struggle for food and justice. The group was led by Dean Conrado Benitez of the University of the Philippines and rural reconstruction guru Dr. YC James Yen. PRRM pioneered an era of rural development and local democracy in the Philippines, being the first NGO to send its workers to the villages to implement its integrated four-fold program of education, livelihood, health, and self-governance. PRRM inspired the formation of similar national movements in Colombia, Guatemala, Ghana, India and Thailand. The International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), set up by Dr. Yen in the mid-60s, facilitated this process of globalization of the rural reconstruction movement.
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International Conference on Yolanda Reconstruction: “Bayanihan/Sogo-Fujo Without Borders” – AMDA International/News
March 8, 2014, Cocoon Boutique Hotel
Quezon City, Philippines