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75 years after: Jehovah’s Witnesses in PH remember post-World War II relief work

Some 75 years ago, Jehovah’s Witnesses organized their first large-scale relief work in the Philippines.

Back in August 1946, about 2,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses and their families received relief assistance from their fellow believers in different parts of the world.

When World War II concluded by the third quarter of 1945, the Philippines was left suffering from inflation and shortages of basic needs such as food and clothing.

The headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses located in the United States arranged to alleviate the needs of their fellow believers in different parts of the world.

When domestic and international travels were opened after the war, shipments of relief were sent to Europe and Asia which included 479,114 kg of clothing, 124,110 pairs of shoes, and 326,081 kg of food.

Due to the world-wide scale of their work and freight limitations then, shipments were received in the Philippines by August 1946. Their relief work was aided by unpaid volunteers and voluntary contributions.

CONTINUING RELIEF EFFORTS

For many decades now, Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Philippines have continued with their relief efforts. 

At least 21 or more typhoons and tropical storms affect the country each year. Add to these are the many earthquakes, floods, and other calamities. During these times of need, Jehovah’s Witnesses have continued to respond to calls for aid.

When Super Typhoon Yolanda hit central Philippines in 2013, volunteers from foreign countries joined in helping their fellow believers by providing food, medical assistance, as well as in repairing and rebuilding damaged homes.

Jehovah’s Witnesses carry out repairs and construction of homes damaged by calamities as part of their relief work in the Philippines. (Photo courtesy of Jehovah’s Witnesses)

During the current pandemic, relief operations continue especially for those affected by hard lockdowns.

In Southern Luzon, for example, relief operations were carried out in nine areas. About 4,200 food packs have been distributed to more than 2,000 families since it began operations last year. About 450 volunteers participated in the relief efforts.

TELECONSULTATION, INFORMATION

A teleconsultation service that caters to non-emergency medical cases was also established. A total of 12 professional doctors, 26 licensed nurses, and 5 mental health counselors serve as volunteers to provide medical assistance and advice. As of August 2021, more than 1,600 patients had been assisted through this initiative. 

Additionally, to help address the situation, the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses, jw.org, is featuring a video entitled Virus Outbreaks—What Can You Do. The three-minute whiteboard animation offers families practical ways to cope emotionally and spiritually to cushion the effects of the CoVID-19 pandemic.

Since the pandemic began, jw.org has featured information designed to assist people of all ages and backgrounds to remain calm, informed, and healthy.

With content in an unprecedented 1,039 languages, the site also features articles such as How to Beat Pandemic Fatigue, How to Deal with Isolation, Can the Bible Help Me if I’m Depressed, Anxiety in Men–How the Bible Can Help, and What Does the Bible Say About Pandemics. Website articles are available in several Philippine languages, including: Bicol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Iloko, Pangasinan, Tagalog, and Waray-Waray.

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