Volunteers step forward to head into a disaster zone in the Philippines
A Grimsby man is one of two southern Ontario residents with disaster relief experience are on their way to the Philippines to help the Christian charity, Samaritan’s Purse, provide aid to tens of thousands of victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
Tim Kikkert, a 26-year-old logistics specialist from Grimsby, and Marianne Maertens, a 36-year-old water and sanitation specialist from Newmarket, departed from Pearson International Airport early Nov. 20.
Kikkert, who helped with Samaritan’s Purse’s relief work in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, will be in the Philippines working for the Christian relief organization for at least the next month. Maertens, who worked full-time for Samaritan’s Purse between 2005 and 2007, is volunteering in the Philippines for two weeks.
“I want to make stuff happen and help people stay alive and get back on their feet.” said Kikkert, in explaining his decision to go to the disaster zone. He will act as a supply chain manager-helping with transportation and customs issues as relief supplies and equipment arrive from Canada and elsewhere.
Maertens will help Samaritan’s Purse provide survivors with clean drinking water and appropriate sanitation, and help teach safe health and hygiene practices while the typhoon-ravaged parts of the Philippines gradually recover.
“You see the pictures in the media and the loss that people are experiencing, and if that was someone in my family, I’d hope there was someone out there to help them,” said Maertens, who has taken a leave of absence from her job with the Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority.
Samaritan’s Purse Canada is an international Christian relief and development organization working in about 40 countries to help victims of war and disaster.
For more information and to make a donation, visit the Samaritan’s Purse website.