A message from Candy Gourlay

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 14.29.27Waking up to apocalyptic photographs of my native Philippines I was filled first with fear for my family at home. The next emotion was guilt.

Guilt because here I was, receiving hundreds of messages of concern and commiseration from friends all over the United Kingdom when the only thing I have endured over the weekend was suffering by association.

Thank you, friends, my family escaped unscathed as Typhoon Haiyan – Yolanda, as we named her in the Philippines, swerved away from the capital city Manila where they live and set out across the South China Sea for Vietnam. But others have not been so lucky.

You do not need me to repeat the awful statistics, the gruesome coverage, the details of lives swept away by a storm that will make history as the most powerful ever to make land fall since meteorologists began to keep weather records.

But what can we do? This question has been asked over and over again in the messages that have come pouring into my inbox. WHAT CAN WE DO?

We are not on the ground to share the suffering, we are not there to help pack boxes or offer comfort to those who have lost everything.

This Philippine disaster with talk of storm surges and families swept away has reminded many of the Japanese tsunami of March 2011.

At the time, a group of British authors led by young adult author Keris Stainton set up the campaign Authors for Japan. It galvanized booky people here and abroad to donate books, merchandise, manuscript critiques even character names to successfully raise more than £12k for the cause.

Keris et. Al. on hearing about the Philippines have, without hesitation, decided to go for it again with Authors for the Philippines.

On behalf of my suffering country, I thank all the kind people who are participating in this auction – let us show the world that good can follow bad. The Philippines was a poor country to start with and the road to recovery is going to be long and arduous. With your support, not only will we be able to help the victims of the disaster but make sure that they are not forgotten, even after the headlines are gone.


About K

YA writer. Voracious reader. Feminist. Home educator. Addicted to tea and Twitter.


  1. Pingback: Authors for the Philippines – Online Auction in aid of Typhoon Survivors |

  2. Pingback: Authors for the Philippines: how you can help | Susie Day

  3. So glad to hear your family are safe. All that we can do is donate and support the sending of aid as soon as possible. x

  4. Thank you, Miriam. I feel lucky. But so sad about the ongoing suffering.

  5. Pippa Wilson

    A beautiful message. This auction is a great idea. Let’s hope the affected people are being well looked after now.

  6. Thanks, Pippa. A lot of people are thanking me for this appeal – but the impetus and the headache of setting it up goes to the wonderful Keris Stainton and Keren David.

  7. Joy

    Hi Candy, so glad to hear your family are safe. As a near-neighbour (Malaysian), I wanted to voice my support. Its frustrating not being able to do anything except pray for those affected, but at least this auction is a great way of helping; well done, Keris Stainton & Keren David. I wouldn’t even know how to start organising something like this!

  8. jaden okyrere

    so soryry Candy have lost any loved ones ):

  9. Pingback: A thank you post | Keris Stainton

Make a Bid (in British Pounds)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: