The NACSEARelief Team wishes all friends and associates worldwide a very blessed and peaceful, disaster-free HAPPY NEW YEAR. No disaster, no work for organizations like us? No, we would prefer to use our resources rather for social development and thus contribute to eradicate poverty or at least make many a personal fate more bearable.

World Risk Report 2018 consistently ranks the Philippines third among the 171 countries, in terms of natural disaster risk. The ICRC rates us as one of the five countries most frequently hit by natural hazards over the past ten years. Times magazine says we are the most exposed typhoon country in the world. Indeed, might be with an average of 20 typhoons a year of which an average of 5 super typhoons.

Over 10’000 earthquakes across the Philippine Islands since 1970 add to the scares not to forget the 6 still most active volcanoes. There are also man made disasters. 137th out of 162 countries in terms of peacefulness.

Such facts might give the impression this is not a country to live in and do business. Far from it. Here lives a most joyful, loving people, probably ranking among the most happiest on earth. There are strong socio-cultural aspects. First the Filipino Resiliency is commonly to endure, then move on. Bayanihan Community (Unity) and a backer system “Utang na Loob” (I owe you culture) It is obvious such are strength for survival but by far not enough to follow a path of sustainable development. Help is needed, foreign investment, and appropriate Aid.

Much has been accomplished in the past 4 decades I know and love this country. Thankfully we look at a working democracy, economic growth, better education, better opportunities for the new generation and much more could be mentioned.

For us the question is not how much improvement is to be seen, but how MANY benefit from it? And in this area there is still work to be done. NACSEARelief, a christian charity is one of the smaller ones, We do not accomplish spectacular projects neither can we pride ourselves to have brought about much changes or claim a major impact. Yet we address many individual situations and bring hope by solidarity. Often only small actions have the greatest effect and often but not, money is not the issue. Finances are needed for solutions but often resources are used just to sustain problems instead of bringing about change. Helping” remains a challenge. Much could be said about it.

Let us go forward together, may social awareness and responsibility paired with love for souls, accompany all of us through the coming year. Thank you for having read this message intended as food for thought.

Urs Hebeisen
President NACSEARelief