classroom destroyed in Cotabato in Philippines earthquakeThe MCF not only looks on to the Brethen of our Province but also to those suffering in the world. Thousands of people whose lives have been devastated by three major earthquakes in the Philippines will be given urgently-needed humanitarian assistance, thanks to a grant of £15,000 from Devonshire Freemasons to Plan International UK.

Massive damage on the southern island of Mindanao has seen an estimated 188,000 people affected by damaged and destroyed infrastructure. Roads have been blocked by landslides and water and sewage systems have been destroyed, leading to a serious risk of disease.

Nearly 1,500 schools have been damaged or destroyed, along with an estimated 28,000 houses. Rescue workers are reporting that 31,465 people have been displaced, with 24,000 in emergency evacuation centres.

The £15,000 grant from Devonshire freemasons to Plan International UK’s relief effort will help to provide more than 4,000 water kits, including a jerry can and water treatment chemicals. The provision of clean water is essential in the prevention of cholera and other diseases which can be life-threatening, especially to young children.

The grant from Devonshire Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

Rafael Garcia Velasquez, Acting Director of International Policy and Programmes, said

“We’re hugely grateful for this generous contribution to Plan International’s disaster response to the Philippines earthquakes. The provision of clean water is an absolute essential in the aftermath of a disaster like this and will help to protect thousands of people.”

Ian Kingsbury, Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Devonshire Freemasons said:

“The southern Philippines has been hit very hard by these terrible earthquakes. I’m very pleased that Freemasonry has been able to move so quickly to offer this essential funding for Plan International UK who are providing rapid support, including clean water, to thousands across the region.”