Pontypool gran Brenda set for Phillipines mission
12:08pm Thursday 5th December 2013 in News
HELPING OUT: Brenda Manley, here with children on the beach in Togo, is packing her bags for the Phillipines
A 72-YEAR-OLD grandmother is heading to the Philippines to help survivors cope with the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.
Pontypool mother-of-three Brenda Manley will travel to the city of Cebu on January 9 to help re-open schools and care for children after Typhoon Haiyan destroyed buildings and killed thousands last month.
The former teacher, who has eight grandchildren, is no stranger to volunteer work abroad, having teached children in Togo and helped in orphanages for two months with charitable organisation Projects Abroad.
“An email came through for Projects Abroad, the company I went to Togo with, asking for volunteers to go to the Philippines as part of a six-month project to rebuild the schools and help the children,” she said. “They are rebuilding schools and I will be involved in painting and cleaning them to get them ready, but the main function will be looking after the children to give them some relative normality.
“We will be playing and reading with them, as many of the children have had their homes destroyed and their parents are trying to get their lives back together; if we look after them then their parents can do what they have to do.
Mrs Manley will travel to Cebu on her own before being met by a member of the Projects Abroad team who will take her to a “safe house” where she will then travel to the outlying districts to help.
“I received the email about ten days ago and I wanted to go out before Christmas, but I couldn’t get flights,” added Mrs Manley.
“I've had all of my injections since volunteering in Togo so I can go quite quickly.
“All of the big organisations are out there dealing with the distribution of aid, but what we are dealing with is the rebuild.
“In Togo, I knew what I was getting into – teaching and working in the orphanage – but I don’t know about this. I just felt it was something that needs to be done.
“When it happened and was on the TV, I sat there and thought it was awful, but I just felt I needed to be going out there and physically doing something to help.
“My son said that if I didn’t go, it would be something I'd regret. I am prepared to be physically, mentally and emotionally drained by the end of it.”
Mrs Manley has had to pay £4,000 to take part in the project, with any other money raised going back in to the project.
To help the cause, contact her on 01495 740258 or email email@example.com
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