02 Mar 2016
- By Junhan B. Todiño - firstname.lastname@example.org - Variety News Staff
JEHOVAH’S Witnesses from the states, Guam and South Africa are here to build or re-build the houses of local church members whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Typhoon Soudelor.
The 10 volunteers have been building or rebuilding houses since arriving on island in January.
Bruce Cook of the Jehovah’s Witnesses said the volunteers have so far constructed two houses on Quartermaster Rd., and one each in Kagman, Chinatown and Gualo Rai.
The volunteers will be on island for about two months, and some of them have done disaster relief work in other jurisdictions or countries, Cook said.
These include Mexico, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Suriname, South Africa and Chuuk.
Cook said the volunteers paid for their own transportation to Saipan and have been staying at the homes of local church members.
He said homes needing minor repairs after the typhoon were fixed in September and October by members of the local congregation, assisted by four volunteers from Guam.
“The newly built homes and the ones that received major repairs are all different but based on the original design,” he said, referring to the work of the 10 volunteers.
The funds for the construction materials and the meals of the volunteers come from donations around the world, Cook said.
Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, who visited one of the home-construction sites, said he was impressed by the volunteers’ work and dedication.
He also lauded the church for reaching out to members of the local community who need help.