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School flies flag for Philippines

Saturday, 23rd November, 2013

Jaidelyn Ortega (11), Eden Wilson (6) and Denzelle Jones (11) dressed in the colours of the Filipino flag yesterday. PICTURE: Darrin Manuel Jaidelyn Ortega (11), Eden Wilson (6) and Denzelle Jones (11) dressed in the colours of the Filipino flag yesterday. PICTURE: Darrin Manuel

By By Erica Visser

When Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines two weeks ago, local woman Jonnah Ortega’s family were among the 1.5 million people who lost their home.

In an event that shocked the world, as many as 10,000 people died in the natural disaster and search efforts are ongoing to reunite families.

And while Mrs Ortega was keen to fundraise to help those in need in her home country, it was her 11-year-old daughter Jaidelyn who came up with the first bright idea.

“We were sitting around the table trying to think of ideas and she actually said, ‘Why don’t I ask my school to do a mufti day and everyone can wear the colours of the Filipino flag?’,” Mrs Ortega said.

“So we thought, ‘why not get as many schools on board as possible?’”

As a result, students from Jaidelyn’s school (Broken Hill Public School) and two other local primary schools wore red, blue, white and gold and made a donation in support of the country.

Mrs Ortega said that the event was organised in limited time, but any schools who still wished to take part could do so next Friday.

“The kids see what’s going on because there are a lot of Filipino people now living in Broken Hill and this type of devastating disaster is right in your face,” Mrs Ortega said.

“So by doing something like this it lets the kids feel like they’re getting involved and helping out.”

The fundraiser is just one of several planned by the Broken Hill Filipino community, who will pass on funds to the Red Cross.

On Saturday November 30, an auction and trivia night will be hosted by the Legion Club with all funds going to the cause.

The auction will include not only goods such as toys and potential Christmas gifts, but services including car detailing and cleaning, lawn mowing and ironing.

“Maybe a Christmas gift for mum could be a cleaner,” Mrs Ortega said.

“There’ll be lots of activities and games and the infants choir are getting involved.”

The event will kick off at the Legion from 3pm and trivia will follow.

Mrs Ortega said that the Filipino community had been “touched” by the kindness and generosity shown by businesses and individuals since the disaster.

“We’re very lucky that the people have been very supportive of the Broken Hill Filipino community over the past few weeks. The support has been humbling,” Mrs Ortega said.

“On behalf of everybody involved, we’re all very, very proud Filipinos, but we’re even prouder Aussies.”

On December 6, Broken Hill Hungry Jacks will also donate $1 from every Whopper sold to the cause.

If you would like to donate to the cause, please contact the “Broken Hill Fil-Oz Relief Fund” Facebook page, or the BDT.

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