TACLOBAN CITY – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) embarks on a $1.5 million project for technical education and livelihood recovery of more than 5,000 members affected by supertyphoon Yolanda. Jose Antonio San Gabriel, LDS self reliance service manager, said that half of the amount from the church’s Perpetual Education Fund (PEF) will be used for scholarship of enrollees while the remaining half will be spent to procure needed equipments to jumpstart livelihood activities. Members can avail a maximum loan of P22,000. They will only be required to return15% of the loan, payable in 10 months or just P220 monthly. “PEF are donated funds from generous members worldwide. We want to use this money to restore the shattered livelihood of families,” San Gabriel told reporters at the sidelines of a commencement exercise of 620 carpenters who took part in the rebuilding of 620 houses held on May 28. Although these carpenters have already received certificates from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), they are also encouraged to avail the PEF project. “Education is the key to opportunity and we ask those interested to continue education so they could receive certificates. The hope here is to educate and build self reliance and help them learn how to progress and provide for their families,” said Elder Ian Ardern, one of the top LDS church leader in the Philippines area. The PEF has been established to provide adults of LDS church with the support and resources necessary to improve their lives through education and better employment to better serve their family, the Church, and their community. LDS Charities, the social arm of LDS church reported that $6 million emergency funds have been poured out along Yolanda’s path. These include food and hygiene kit, medical supplies, funds for clearing activities, food supplies, generators, shelter repair kits, water purifiers, cooking kits, fishing gears, and vegetable seeds.