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‘Restore CNMI, One Village at a Time’

THE Marianas Young Professionals launched on Tuesday “Restore CNMI, One Village at a Time,” an islandwide cleanup involving youth volunteers.

The project’s main goal is to empower village volunteers by giving them the tools they need to assist themselves and their fellow neighbors in cleaning their homes and yards that were greatly affected by Typhoon Yutu, according to Nola K. Hix, MyPros vice president.

She said 209 volunteers have signed up for the cleanup.

“We want to show our business partners, our community, our leaders that we can take charge and basically mobilize and empower our people who have lost everything to rise up together, and build up together,” she added.

“The island is not going to clean itself — we all are going to do our part,” Hix said.

At a meeting held in the Hyatt ballroom, the  volunteers organized themselves by villages and identified their village captains who will be the points of contact.

The Marianas Young Professionals launched on Tuesday “Restore CNMI, One Village at a Time,” an islandwide cleanup campaign involving youth volunteers, in the Hyatt Regency ballroom. Photo by Bryan ManabatThe Marianas Young Professionals launched on Tuesday “Restore CNMI, One Village at a Time,” an islandwide cleanup campaign involving youth volunteers, in the Hyatt Regency ballroom. Photo by Bryan Manabat

“In order for us to get our foot on the ground we need people to assess and identify people in need at the village level,” Hix said.

As volunteers, she added, “they will be in direct contact with the people in their areas and should be able to help us and our partnering emergency agencies identify critical needs.”

She said “those in need do not have to go far because once this information is collected we can get the assistance to the immediately.”

Hix said the village teams will establish village tent stations.

At present, she said MYPros has raised more than $40,000 through a GoFundMe campaign launched after Yutu slammed into Saipan and Tinian.

“We want to be able to put that money to use so we can provide immediate direct assistance,” Hix said.

She said the initial target was $10,000. “Then we noticed that we had raised 10,000 in one day, and the next day we raised another 10,000.”

Hix added  “We want the donors to know that we are effectively using the money, and we want to make sure that it is getting to the hands of those who needed it most.”

She said MYPros has established its own disaster recovery center “so we are able to receive all items coming in and make sure all the items are accounted for and distributed effectively directly to the villages.”

But she said no assistance will be provided at their center which is located at the former Marianas Baptist Academy in Dandan.

The tent stations in the villages will be the distribution points, she said.

Hix said once the hotline is available, “people will be able to reach us and we will reach out to the village captains.”

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/108584-restore-cnmi-one-village-at-a-time

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