Thank you again for your support of this project. Please donate to the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund and help us get news and information to Filipinos who desperately need it.
Below is an update directly from the feild. Please share this update with your friends and family and ask them to support this critical and time-sensitive campaign. We will continue to update you as more information becomes available.
With electricity, media, and mobile networks knocked out in areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan, information is scarce for aid agencies and those in desperate need of aid – making it difficult to understand the full scale of needs.
Internews’ Rapid Response Unit has deployed a Humanitarian Media team to the Philippines. The team is conducting a fast assessment of the media and communications environment to see what can be done to help restore capacity in the media sector and support information flows to people affected by the disaster.
Reports from the Internews team on the ground, gathered from local networks, indicate that most local media infrastructure in the affected areas has been completely wiped out. Our contacts talk of mobile phones and broadcast equipment at radio stations being "taken away by the sea." Early reports from UN colleagues tell us that at least four local journalists from major networks are dead, including one who drowned even as he was reporting from the second floor of a building in Tacloban.
To stay up to date with Internews staff and issues of information in this crisis, follow the twitter hashtag #commisaid.
EnviroNews.ph is working hard to keep up their FrontlineSMS platform which integrates short messaging service (SMS) reporting from journalists in the country, to get news and information out about the disaster quickly. Imelda Abano, an EnviroNews.ph journalist, is currently the only Filipino journalist at the UN climate negotiations (COP 19) in Warsaw. This is an equally important measure to ensure longterm, sustainable solutions to climate change, as scientists have warned that extreme weather events will only increase in intensity and frequency if climate change is left unchecked. Many Filipinos have never heard of "climate change" before, and without reliable, accurate, and localized information about it, near-term and long-term adaptation remains challenging.
infoasaid, a past partnership between Internews and BBC Media Action, developed a media landscape guide to the Philippines that provides context for the affected area:
On behalf of Internews, thank you so much for your participation and support of this project. It is because of donors like you that we can continue to do this important work – supporting young leaders to harness the power of media and emerging technologies to help themselves and their communities. More importantly, your support helps leverage new and existing media platforms to ensure the freedom of information around the world, empowering everyone to raise their voice and be heard.
We want you to know exactly where your donations are going and how they are truly making an impact in young people’s everyday lives. Below you’ll find just one example of a project your donation is helping to fund.
Again, thank you for your contributions and ALL you do to support our mission!
Young Women in Egypt are Empowered to Make their School Safer
Through its Future Leaders program, Internews empowers students in Egypt to make changes in their communities.
El Nil School for Girls is located in the Giza governorate’s Imbaba district, which has deteriorated economically since the 2011 revolution that ended Mubarak’s rule. The district is a well-known drug trafficking center; at night after school hours, drug addicts jump over the school walls and use the playground as a hideout for drug abuse. Each morning students find drug paraphernalia.
“Years ago, school security didn’t get much attention; however, these days, it seems that drugs and violence have infiltrated every nook of society,” said Laila Abdelkawy, El Nil School principle.
Through its Future Leaders project in Egypt, Internews partnered with Hawaa El Mostaqbal NGO to work with the students at El Nil School to improve security and safety. The project works with young people in Egypt through social media camps that empower them to use media tools to address issues in their communities.
Internews trained 100 participants at El Nil School for Girls on civic participation principles and social initiatives. Out of the 100 trained, 15 students then took the initiative to help secure their school from drug dealers by heightening their school fence.
Additionally, to keep students safe, Internews’ partner NGO will be holding lectures aimed at building self-defense awareness among girls, as well as teaching them how to defend themselves against drug dealers and sexual harassment.
Through Future Leaders, students in Egypt have learned skills for teambuilding, leadership and civic engagement to make changes in their schools and communities. Your support helps us to continue sustaining this and other Internews projects that support open access to information and the power to connect individuals and communities.
Let’s continue to work together on this - tell your friends and family about our project, and share why our mission is important to you on your social networks. Most importantly, please continue to donate and encourage others to do so, too, until we can reach our goal!
We know that when all people have access to the news and information they need to adapt and respond to the events that shape their world, our world will be a better place. Thank you once again for your support.
Yesterday, the most powerful typhoon to hit the Philippines prompted blackouts, landslides, and flooding, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate to higher, safer grounds.
Among the current estimates of at least 20 missing and 1 dead, power and communication have also been severely disrupted, leaving thousands of Filipinos , particularly those most vulnerable along the coast, without access information.
EnviroNews has been working around the clock to ensure that communities get the news and information they need to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
Internews, the Earth Journalism Network, and its partner, EnviroNews, has been putting your dollars to work immediately by piloting the Frontline SMS news service, which harnesses the power and reach of mobile phones and social media to ensure that timely news reaches affected populations in real time. Your donation has made this effort possible, making sure that those affected by the typhoon get the help they urgently need.
Before, during, and after the Typhoon hit, we used the SMS platform to send the most up to date information about Typhoon Utor, locally known as “Typhoon Labuyo.” Integrating power of mobile phones and a twitter feed, which runs live on the EnviroNews homepage, together we were able to extend the reach of accurate and timely news and information to even the most remote regions of the Philippines.
But there is still lots of work to be done, and challenges that remain. Many people are without power, and the communication infrastructure has been badly damaged. For thousands of people across the Philippines, a mobile phone or twitter feed can also be a lifeline to answer critical questions such as “Is it safe to go outside?” “What is the extent of the damage?” and “Where can I go to get help?” In order to continue to provide this much needed service, EnviroNews needs you to help in any way you can – tell your friends and family about our project, post about it on your Facebook wall or Twitter page, and continue to donate. Now more than ever, your contributions are critical.
As we continue to assess the damage and monitor new developments, we will keep you up to date and informed on our project. Thank you again for all you do for our cause.