Norwegian TV raises P210 million for PH aid

By Macel Ingles, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Nov 28 2013 07:00 AM | Updated as of Nov 28 2013 03:00 PM

Norwegian Public Broadcastng (NRK) staged a national telethon for typhoon victims in the Philippines featuring prominent Norwegian artists and Filipino choir Advent Ambassadors last Sunday, November 24 at the National Theater in Oslo/Macel Ingles

OSLO, Norway - Norwegian Public Broadcasting (NRK), a state-run public broadcasting network, raised at least P210 million (30 million kroners) for Typhoon Yolanda victims in the Philippines during an hour and a half national telethon at the Nationalteateret in Oslo.

The live telethon was aired 8.15 p.m. Norwegian time last Sunday (November 24) on NRK1 channel and was hosted by Nadia Hasnaoui.

Prominent Norwegian artists Anne Grete Preus, Odd Nordstoga and Ingebjørg Bratland, Morten Abel, Ole Paus, Martin Halla, Eva & the Heartmaker, Agnete Johnsen and the all-male Filipino choir Advent Ambassadors performed for the event dubbed as "Dugnad for Filippinene, De Trenger Deg Nå: Støttekonsert."

Dugnad, in Norwegian means "unpaid, voluntary work," a term that is similar to the Filipino bayanihan, to refer to actions done voluntarily and for the common good.

All the artists in the solidarity concert performed for free and the National Theater management has offered the use of their facilities and services to the NRK telethon.

The concert aired live on TV urged viewers to send their P1,400 (200 kroners) donations through sending SMS and by calling designated phone numbers.

"Let this (donation) be your Christmas gift. We already have all we need in this country," program host Nadia Hasnaoui said in an appeal to the viewers.

She also interviewed two Filipinos Seth Sanderød and Isabel Lahorra, whose families in Capiz and Leyte were severely affected by the typhoon.

Five Norwegian aid organizations were to benefit from the proceeds of the concert: Red Cross Norway, UNICEF, Save the Children Norway, Norwegian Church Aid, and Streetlight, an orphanage in the Philippines. These aid organizations are building temporary shelters, hospitals and classrooms for victims of super typhoon Yolanda and are continually doing relief work in hardest hit areas in the Philippines.

Before the telethon, around 2000 Filipinos and Norwegians in Oslo joined a torch parade in solidarity with the Philippines, led by Norwegian Culture Minister Thorhild Widvey, from the Oslo central station to the National Theater where the concert was held.

A Filipino organization, Bantay Bata Norway also lent their support to the torch parade and the concert.

"Dahil sa nangyari sa bagyong Yolanda sa Pilipinas, ang daming nag-ca-care at gusto nilang ipaabot ang kanilang pag-care from Norway to the Philippines," Joy Fresnedi of Bantay Bata told ABS-CBN Europe when asked why people participated in the torch parade in Oslo.

Fresnedi also said that the devastation of Yolanda touched the heart of every Filipino in Oslo.

"Grabe ang reaction nila, nalungkot sila, wala ni isang tao na kilala ko na di naiyak nung makita ang balita sa Pilipinas, para kasing impossible (na ganun ang nangyari)," she added.

Filipino organizations all over Norway had been actively involved in fundraising activities to help the victims of Typhoon Yolanda since footage of the grim destruction were aired on TV and splashed on national and local newspapers. Some Filipinos even volunteered to be part of donation drives of major Norwegian aid organizations such as Red Cross and Caritas Norway.

At least two solidarity concerts arranged by Filipino organizations to raise funds for typhoon victims are going to be staged in Oslo next month.

The Norwegian government has already given the Philippines P1.5 billion in humanitarian aid for relief and rehabilitation works.