A humanitarian worker has continued to provide support to vulnerable communities in the Philippines during the Covid-19 pandemic after receiving a significant donation from one of his alma mater’s merchandise suppliers – both based in Yorkshire.
Leeds Trinity University alumnus and humanitarian John Flanagan provides support to people in the Philippines through an educational programme, which has been bolstered by the donation of thousands of stationery items, arranged by the university and its Sheffield-based supplier, Formkraft.
More than 4,000 items including calculators, drinking bottles, backpacks, notebooks, pens and reusable bags will be sent out to the Philippines in January 2021.
Humanitarian John, who spent 25 years working as a drama teacher in the UK and Singapore, moved to the Philippines in 2010 to dedicate his life to helping thousands of people affected by adverse circumstances.
In the last ten years, John has helped more than 150,000 people through the provision of food, clothing and other materials.
The Philippines has been in lockdown since March, with many businesses remaining closed and public transport significantly reduced to a skeleton service. Despite the challenges of lockdown, John continues to support Filipino communities and is part of the country’s Covid-19 taskforce set up by local government. He is also launching an educational programme offering schooling in English with the intention of adding further subjects at a later date.
John said: “My charity efforts have been continuing daily but finances are stretched due to having no funding – and our feeding programmes are not being offered due to restrictions. However, items such as medicines and vitamins are given out fairly often and I still see countless individuals and communities.”
To support John’s educational initiative, Leeds Trinity University contacted one of its local merchandise suppliers, Formkraft, which has agreed to donate the stationery supplies.
Brett Arnall, alumni relations officer at Leeds Trinity University, said: “I have worked with Formkraft since 2014 and they supply a lot of our merchandise range.
“When I mentioned the amazing work that John was doing in the Philippines, they offered their support without hesitation. I hear updates from John regularly, so I was ecstatic to hear that Formkraft were prepared to help him.”
Andrew Peters, merchandise manager at Formkraft, said: “We have a great relationship with Leeds Trinity University and when we found out about John and his amazing work in supporting so many people in the Philippines we really wanted to help him by sending him stationery that would provide vital equipment to help his education project.”
Picture: John Flanagan is an alumnus of Leeds Trinity University, graduating from Drama and Public Media in 1983. He is pictured with one of the children his work supports.