Save the Children Federation

Save the Children is the world's leading independent organization for children. Our vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. Our mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives.
Nov 14, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan: Rafael's Story in His Own Words

Rafael and family. Credit: Save the Children
Rafael and family. Credit: Save the Children

"When we went out of the house, my father was hit by a collapsed wall. There was blood everywhere. I tried to wake him up but he wasn't moving anymore. The water got even higher and I wanted to carry my father with the tide but I thought we would both die.

I was scared and crying.

I swam and swam and every time I was tired I would cling to a log. Then I would swim again. It was a miracle that I survived.

When I was swimming, the rain felt like needles on my face. I was very afraid for my mother and siblings as well as I thought they were all dead."

Drifting through the village, Rafael finally fell asleep.

"When I woke up it was a miracle because I was in another village and I saw some of my friends."

He began walking to the evacuation center to meet with his family. The first thing he told his mother when he got there was that his dad had died and they both cried together.

His mother told him that they had been through similar things on their way out. They have a baby and one of the youngest children is disabled with slow mental and physical development.

"Dad was really protective and generous. Although we are poor, he would always make sure that he would bring something home to us after work. Whenever he prepared his coffee he would share half of the cup with me."

They are now living in a van outside the center as they cannot stand the stench inside.

"We are getting sick, my siblings are always coughing because it is very cold and we don't have any dry clothes at the moment. We don't have anything with us.

The problem is that they have two baby siblings and they don't have water. They are drinking water from a water hose and it is not clean."

Save the Children is responding to Typhoon Haiyan. Please donate to our GlobalGiving project for typhoon relief

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Nov 14, 2013

Jhun-jhun's Survivor Story After Typhoon Haiyan

Jhun-jhun
Jhun-jhun's home. Credit: Save the Children

"I tried hard not to panic amid the chaos, but all I was thinking was that we had to get out of there alive."

This was how young Jhun-jhun began telling his story of the November 8, 2013 onset of Typhoon Haiyan in his home town of Concepcion in the Philippines.

He was at home with his mother, grandmother and little cousin when the typhoon struck their coastal community at more than 180 miles per hour, causing a destructive storm surge and heavy flooding.

Jhun-jhun and his family climbed to the roof of their house to avoid the 10 foot floodwater. "The water current was too strong to move further, and we worried that we might get drifted towards the open sea if we tried to brave the conditions."

Once the strong winds subsided, they moved to the village's evacuation center and stayed overnight.

Jhun-jhun and his family returned home after the storm with hopes that they could salvage whatever was left of their belongings, but their hearts sank when they realized that they had lost almost everything.

"As you can see, we have lost everything. We don't even have a change of clothes. All of our things were destroyed; and we're all starving because we've had nothing to eat since yesterday," he said.

"We really need food, clothes, and any household item because we have nothing at the moment."

With your help, Save the Children will distribute emergency kits for children and families like Jhun Jhun's who have survived the typhoon, including household and hygiene supplies, clean drinking water, cleaning items, temporary school tents and education materials.

Hopefully, Jhun-jhun will feel safe and secure again soon. Kids like Jhun-jhun need caring people like you to support Save the Children's response efforts. 

Links:

Oct 31, 2013

Are Your Children Safe? Find out in the United States Disaster Report 2013

Children were the face of a record year of disasters in the United States. That's why Save the Children has produced our annual America’s 2013 National Report Cardon Protecting Children in Disasters. This year's report focused on how unsatisfactory gaps in prepardness put children at risk before disaster strikes.

Did you know?

• 28 states and the District of Columbia still fail to meet minimum standards to protect children recommended by the National Commission on Children and Disasters.

• 17 states don’t require child care providers to have an evacuation plan.

• 16 states don’t require child care providers to have a family reunification plan.

• 24 states don’t require child care providers to have a plan for children with disabilities or with access and functional needs.

• 6 states and the District of Columbia don’t require schools to have a disaster plan that addresses multiple types of hazards.

• Schools and child care centers are often not required to practice emergency plans regularly.

• Families are often not well-informed about reunification plans or asked to update emergency contact information.

• Emergency responders often have no official registry of child care centers to facilitate plans to reach all children.

• State and community emergency plans often fail to adequately account for the needs of children.

Find out if your state makes the grade and how you can better prepare your family for disasters and emergencies at Get Ready. Get Safe. 

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