December 2 2008

Children help flood victims in Panama and Costa Rica

02/12/2008 - The children of several SOS Children's Villages in Panama and Costa Rica have started collecting provisions for families affected by the floods in those countries.

Photo: Shalency Miller Williams
The children's villages are not yet severely affected. - Photo: S. Miller Williams
Floods following heavy rain in the provinces of Bocas del Toro, Chiriquí, Colon and Veraguas have caused  severe damage and the loss of human lives in Panama as well as across the border in Costa Rica. Countless homes have been severely damaged or even completely destroyed. Landslides have blocked many roads, making it impossible for relief teams to reach the province of Bocas. Over the next 15 days, Bocas will therefore receive food and medical supplies via a maritime bridge from Costa Rica.

Though fortunately none of them have suffered any damage, some SOS Children's Villages are situated in the immediate vicinity of the affected areas, as is the case of the SOS Children's Village David in Chiriquí, some 50 kilometres from the affected areas.

Photo: Shalency Miller Williams
By now, the water in the corridors in Limón covers the first step - Photo: S. Miller Williams

Children and young people as well as co-workers have sympathized with the many families in the nearest shelter going through this tragedy and are currrently providing them with clothes (donated by the children themselves), dried food, disposable diapers, cereals, toys, shoes, and baby food, among others. Some of the co-worker's houses have been damaged, but none in the villages.
The small but significant support focussed on children in a nearby shelter. The SOS Children's Village David has encouraged others to lend their support to those families who have lost everything.

At the SOS Children's Village Colón, co-workers and families were collecting cans of powdered milk for the victims, as well as bags of used clothing for children and adults. Other than a few leaks that are currently being repaired, the SOS Children's Village Colón has not suffered any damage.