November 8, 2013 was probably the most terrifying day for all Filipinos. The threat of nature was at its strongest and it goes by the name Super Typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda). The highest intensity of it was felt in the Visayas, specifically Northern Iloilo. It came with howling of winds and heavy rains. And, for a span of more or less 2 hours, people were holding on to their dear lives, hoping and praying that they would still be able to see the sun the next day.
The day ended with weeping adults, dead bodies, devastated homes, and traumatized children. Thousands of life perished but thousands more were forced to face a new day with losses of loved ones, shelter and peace of mind. In this catastrophe, God has sent angels in the form of non-government and humanitarian organizations.
Save the Children. World Vision – Rising Sun Association. ChildFund Philippines – CHILD Inc.
It is to these organizations that our unfortunate brothers and sisters in Northern Iloilo turned when the government was unable to send help and assistance immediately. They have become the beacon of hope for the victims. These three organizations want nothing but to help rebuild lives, homes, and minds.
Here I have compiled the accomplishments of the three organizations a year after the dreaded Yolanda.
SAVE THE CHILDREN. It is an international non-governmental organization that promotes children’s rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries. Save the Children has been working in the Philippines for over 30 years which started in Guimaras Island. With the devastation cause by Super Typhoon Yolanda, it widened its scope in Panay Islands, including 7 towns of Iloilo namely Estancia, Carles, Balasan, Batad, San Dionisio, Sara, Concepcion, and 4 towns in Capiz namely Pan’ay, Pontevedra, Pres. Roxas and Pilar.
• Distributed household items to 17,627 families including residents of Sicogon which is a private islang
• Distributed saws and hammers to 5,211 beneficiaries from 24 baranggays to help build their house
• Conducted carpentry skill course with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) where 240 new carpenters joined the 10-day training
• Launched Disaster Risk Reduction Management Seminar where 4,804 families attended; it gave importance to 4 ideas:
o Training strong foundation
o Bracing against the storm
o Use of strong joints
o Good roofing
Food Security and Livelihoods:
• Cash grants for vulnerable households
• Community grants given to 34 associations with 2,855 members to help create livelihood
• Financial Management, Simple Project Development, and Conflict Resolution seminars attended by 136 officials of 34 different fisherman associations
• Artificial Reef Construction and Deployment orientation with 135 beneficiaries
• 24 Child-friendly spaces in 14 baranggays with 11, 250 children by conducting psychosocial support activities and training
• Child participation activities like planting vegetables which reached 830 children in 9 baranggays and 2 bunk houses
• Child protection management to the 23 cases of child abuse which have been filed in local council for children’s welfare
• Child protection key messages are disseminated and reached 18, 140 citizens 11, 575 of which are children
• Mother and Baby Friendly Spaces for counselling and group sessions that are set to 6 rural health units
• Feeding program with Plumpy’Doz, a ready to use supplementary food and high energy biscuits, which is distributed to 9, 216 children aged 0-60 months
• 659 nutrition education sessions attended by 4, 093 individuals
• Community-based management of Acute Malnutrition that aims to minimize malnutrition and to distribute food supplements
• Mobile health clinic to affected areas have conducted 16, 897 consultations
• Health facility repair to 8 Barangay Health Stations and 22 more stations are under repair
• Facility upgrading to 3 hospitals, 8 rural health units, 32 barangay health stations
• Capacity building training attended by 415 health workers from 8 municipalities
• Fuel support to pumpboats that transported pregnant women from 33 baranggays in Carles
• Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health education session with 20 support groups are conducted to 563 pregnant women and lactating mothers
• Adolescent sexual and reproductive health sessions to 214 adolescent members and trained 55 out of school youth to continue the sessions for their community
WASH – Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene:
• Building of 16 bathrooms in 16 baranggays each with 160 families
• Cleaning of 37 deep wells in 15 baranggays
• Improving of pipe networks of 30 schools
• Building of 25 overhead tanks and 4 ground tanks in 47 baranggays in Northern Iloilo
• Creating WASH facilities with the help of Health and Education sector to 64 elementary schools
• Conducting Solid Waste Management trainings to 31, 028 adults and children
• Distributing hygienic kits with basic personal items to 5, 151 children and toiletriesand hygiene necessities for families of 5
• Distributing Clean up Kits to 17 schools
• Teaching of Hygiene promotion during emergencies to 423 community volunteers, 225 youth volunteers who are members of Youth WASH Club and 100 elementary pupils dubbed as ‘Batang SAVE’
• Temporary Learning spaces given to 10 elementary schools and 8 day care centers
• Classroom rehabilitations to damaged schools
• Pyscho-Spcial Support and Stress management and Early Childhood Care and Development in Emergencies trainings to 475 teachers and 81 day care workers of 48 schools
• 27, 027 kits for students containing basic necessities, boots and raincoats
• 516 kits for teachers containing teaching materials from pens to record books
• 21 schools received story books and 47 other schools received recreational kits with board games and ball game equipments
**Source: Save the Children – Accomplishment Report – Estancia Field Office
WORLD VISION. Its approach to aid is to first help people and their communities recognize the resources that lie within them. With support from World Vision, it claims communities transform themselves by carrying out their own development projects in health care, agriculture production, water projects, education, micro-enterprise development, advocacy and other community programs.
- Facilitated dialogue between the internally displaced people (IDPs) in Estancia, Iloilo, and key stakeholders from the LGU and other humanitarian actors to consolidate recovery plans and to clarify pressing issues. Coordination with LGUs, IOM and UNOCHA was undertaken to ensure that IDPs who were to move into bunkhouses will have access to basic services, and consultations with IDPs were undertaken by the Municipal Team Leader and the HA Officer.
- Involvement with the Child Protection Working Group (CPWG) in Panay resulted in WV participating in the Multi Sectors Data Gathering among IDPs, which UNOCHA led. As a focus group discussion facilitator, WV was able to gather significant data for advocacy mapping. On 8 May 2014, the CPWG conducted a Child Rights Learning Event at the bunkhouses in Estancia, where WV facilitated a Child Rights Awareness Exercise for children aged 9-15 years, and their output was presented to the Estancia LGU.
For a more elaborate accomplishment report, you can refer HERE.
CHILD FUND INTERNATIONAL. It provides services to children, mostly funded by individual contributors in the form of monthly child sponsorship. In addition, ChildFund says it receives grants and donations that support vocational training, literacy training, food distribution, educational programs, early childhood development, health and immunization programs, nutritional programs, water and sanitation development, and emergency relief in both man-made and natural disasters.
ChildFund’s accomplishments not just in Northern Iloilo but also in the rest of the affected areas in the Visayas 100 days after Yolanda.
They have come a long way in helping our fellow Filipinos rebuild what was lost during the wrath of the typhoon but this will surely lead us to even longer roads to sustain and maintain what these organizations have put up. Nevertheless, we are thankful for they have shed light to what we thought was pure darkness. The victims of the typhoon might be forever scarred by the experience but it is with experience that we learn better things, better options. We must always remember that when there is life, there is hope. 🙂