In the Philippines, communities may never know when disaster will strike again. On average, eight to nine typhoons hit the Philippines each year, causing massive amounts of flooding and damage. Individuals must constantly recover from tragedy and are in need of more and more relief efforts. Luckily, there are passionate organizations more than willing to help. Thanks to your donations, GlobalGiving has been able to give funds to projects focused on rebuilding communities, distributing supplies to children and families, and preparing for future disasters. Here are some updates from these organizations:
De La Salle University, a university in the Philippines, prides itself on using local experts to lead recovery efforts (hence its project name, “Philippines Recovery Efforts Led By Local Experts”). Recently, De La Salle University worked to construct new projects based on consultations from both their internal and external partners at the center in emergency relief operations. After the consultations, the university found that instead of having projects focus on recovery relief, they should focus more on disaster preparation and management. After thorough research and discussion, this approach was found to be more effective. In the latest project report, the university announced some future plans for this project. These plans include continued capacity building, including building an emergency response team for the area. This team will include rescue swimmers and divers, as well as a mountain rescue team. We hope you are all looking forward to their future efforts as much as we are!
Asia America Initiative’s project “Provide Relief to 5000 Families In Typhoon Bopha” is working with local groups to provide relief for survivors of the on-going disasters sparked by climate change in this region. Recently, Asia America Initiative distributed school books and readers to middle schools and high schools, in order for the students to continue having a “basic education” during these disasters. To date, the organization has been able to provide nearly 100,000 books! Unfortunately, the new typhoon season sprung again in mid-May, and students started school the first week of June. Asia America Initiative is working tirelessly to provide a safe environment for the students, but there is still more work to be done.
International Disaster Volunteers (IDV) highlighted, in their latest report, one of the IDV rescue team volunteers named Maria. She, like many of the other volunteers, needed to learn basic first aid in order to help her community when disaster strikes again. Through IDV’s project “Help Filipino Communities Prepare for Disasters”, Maria and the other volunteers received an intense two day course in first aid. Through this course, led by army personnel, attendees practiced and learned CPR, how to respond to spinal cord injuries and broken bones, how to navigate through smoke, etc. Thanks to your generous donations, IDV on-the-ground volunteers are better prepared to deal with health issues in the face of tragedy. IDV hopes to train even more volunteers in first aid and even supply first aid kits and life vests in the future. All of this cannot be done without your support.
Because of the on-going nature of natural disasters in the Philippines, your continued support is more important than ever before. We may never know when a disaster is about to strike, and these organizations must always be prepared to face future typhoons, flooding, and more. We may not know what lies ahead in the Philippines, but all of the progress so far would not have been possible without you. Thank you for your continued passion and support!
Big strides are being made at International Disaster Volunteers! We are excited for them and thank you for making this possible! Since the last report, IDV has given two awesome updates about their project. The floods season is unfortunately approaching fast in the Philippines, but IDV is doing everything they can to get the regions prepared! Most importantly IDV creates community based rescue teams. This means that members of the affected communities are trained in first aid, evacuation simulations, and general flood safety tips. IDV has cultivated a community of first responders, this quick turnover is inexplicably important and will save hundreds of lives.
IDV facilitates expanded community assessments as well as extended evacuation plans. These tools connect communities and span distances so that when a disaster inevitably strikes, the entire region will be well prepared, not just particular communities. International Disaster Volunteers’ logistical expertise that connects rural towns and farms together to ensure nobody gets left behind or forgotten. While focused on prevention and preparedness IDV is also creating important and lasting connections between distanced communities.
Recognizing the importance of women in Philippine households, IDV celebrated International Women's Day with a workshop for developing sustainable livelihoods for women and their families. In the Philippines it’s most typical for a woman to manage finances and budgets for her family. Because of this the workshop was used to teach women how to farm organically and how to market their produce. Rural, underprivileged women now have the capacity to build and sell their products, and have healthy food for their families. Your contribution to this GlobalGiving fund directly benefits one of these workshops! In the coming weeks International Disasters Volunteers are excited to announce two more workshops, one on slipper making and one for sewing.
Few realize that flooding in the Philippines is annual and ever present. Your donation contributed to alleviating a recurring disaster. Your help is always needed and appreciated more than you can know! You are not just donating, you are building resilient and well prepared communities. Thank you for your contribution, it is immeasurably important!
In Southeast Asia, the Philippines specifically, the rainy season promotes fairly constant flooding and therefore there are always displaced people. These disasters are constantly happening, so when there might seem like some progress it’s, ultimately reversed by yet another storm or flooding. This GlobalGiving fund promotes sustained emergency preparedness and prevention measures. Each of GlobalGiving’s partners in this relief effort are making strides in different fields of need thanks to your amazing donations! Below are just a few of the awesome projects that our partners are working on in cleaning up the Philippines.
Asia America Initiatives
In an often related, but overlooked, repercussion of typhoons is the increase in human trafficking and slavery. This nauseating outcome is being spearheaded by Asia America Initiatives to help women and children escape this terrifying fate. They are using those funds to combat trafficking and slavery through livelihood opportunities. Like, purchasing at least six sewing machines and looms to create entrepreneurial co-ops to make traditional weaving and clothing for at least 30 women. Charity can never be enough. Instead, with income earned from working they can feed their families and avoid exploitation.
International Disaster Volunteers
IDV is working hard to prepare locals of Banaba for inevitable flooding. They stockpile peoples homes with food and essential supplies to ease suffering during and after floods. A huge risk to these families are floods that come in the middle of the night, International Disaster Volunteers train families how to prepare and act during such instances. Also, they have on-the-ground volunteers to help when waters rise.
De La Salle University
This Filipino university in Manila has made huge strides in providing to needy families in the southern districts of the Philippines. Their most recent report details their distribution center for family care packages. The standard package included rice, noodles or munggo beans, cans of sardines or corned beef, bottled water, biscuit mix, coffee, sugar, salt, candles, slippers, clothes, and toiletries. Volunteers at the center were able to repack and load a total of 12,000 family relief packages! De La Salle is currently moving into their second phase of psychological first aid and plans to move onto phase three (school rehabilitation) soon!
Your donations are doing amazing work, but as you can tell this problem is ongoing and the Philippines still need your help! Destruction due to flooding is a daily struggle that Filipinos face; working with GlobalGiving’s partners they will be better prepared and equipped to help with the struggles they face. Thank you again for your continued support!
We have so many updates for you! August 2013 is a milestone because it marks one year since the horrible flood coursed through Manila in the Philippines. Effects of it were so widespread that the local and international NGO communities are still investing themselves heavily into these areas. Following the disaster, GlobalGiving immediately created a Philippine Flood Relief Fund and partnered with a carefully selected handful of organizations on the ground. You heard about what happened in the Philippines and refused to watch mothers and babies and families undergo this loss alone. Thank you for taking care of people all around the world! One of our Field team members, Zamil Akhtar, has spent the past couple of months visiting each of the flood-affected areas and doing evaluations of our partner organizations. At the end of each update, he has provided some firsthand eyewitness comments to how the work is going!
Asia America Initiative:
Philippines Secretary of Health Dr. Enrique Ona, MD stated in a letter to Asia America Initiatives that he had heartfelt gratitude for their organization, who is making an immediate difference in the health and lives of Filipino people. Asia America Initiatives used donations from partners to distribute more than $650,000 of medical assistance to thousands of storm and flood victims in Visayas and Mindanao regions. Assisting all age groups from infants to grandparents, the medicines and oral rehydration salts are currently saving the lives of those suffering from high-fever illnesses caused by unclean water supplies and deadly viruses.
Zamil’s Observations: “AAI was one of the most impressive organizations I visited in the Philippines. They have an office in Manila and projects both in Manila and in Mindanao, and work with several local partners. During my office visit, I was impressed with how thoroughly they documented their efforts, with tables and logs of various statistics including how many relief packets they distributed and catalogs of the destruction they witnessed. The team seems dedicated to the work they are doing and have certainly done a lot of good.”
International Disaster Volunteers:
International Disaster Volunteers works so effectively in the Philippines because they partner heavily with a local NGO called Buklod Tao and bring highly qualified individuals from the UK and the West. When the two meet together, great progress is made. Buklod Tao is mainly responsible for the man power behind the projects, from boat building to disaster preparedness to the building of a new evacuation center. EDV help provide the expertise and often some of the funding for these projects.
Zamil’s Updates: “The expertise that EDV provides varies widely. Some of their volunteers are engineers and lawyers who are able to do great things to help the local community with the knowledge that they have. When the local community had to challenge the local government about how the disaster mitigation funds were being used, an EDV volunteer who is a lawyer helped with drafting documents for this cause. An EDV volunteer who is an engineer also helped Buklod Tao design and build a new headquarters for their boat building and sewing facilities.”
EDV and Buklod Tao’s efforts combine to help two-year-old Mae and her mom Melanie, who live in a one room house on the river bank made of tin and plywood. Their home has already been destroyed twice since 2009. She needs you help to ensure she’s safe during floods!
De La Salle University:
Progressive strides of major importance have been made! De La Salle University and the local Filipino government partnered together to conduct a series of orientation trainings on the salient features of the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act of 2010. The DRRM is a law that helps flood-prone communities create disaster preparedness plans before the disasters occur, an amazing proactive step in saving the lives of so many Filipinos. Orientation training taught local government units on Relief Delivery Operations and Evacuation Management as well.
Another stride De La Salle made was to introduce the concept of food security in Brgy, Bungahan, a small village (or barangay). Working with the Center for Social Concern and Action, they encouraged the local residents to establish a vegetable garden. A tree planting event was also conducted in Brgy. Native tree species were used and planted along critical areas within Brgy to help prevent the effects of flooding, soil erosion and others.
Zamil’s Observations: De La Salle is a devoted team of social workers who exhibited a high degree of professionalism and organization upon my visit. I was impressed with their integration with the communities they help; upon my visits to these communities, it seemed like the COSCA staff were welcomed as if they were community members themselves. Those I spoke with from these vulnerable communities had only praise and gratitude for the work that COSCA does, and because they were told that GlobalGiving helps fund COSCA, this gratitude was extended to me.
Peace Winds America:
Zamil’s Observations: Peace Winds America has fostered a very valuable partnership with the Citizens Disaster Response Center (CDRC) in the Philippines. They have been around a long time and are well run and effective. Work includes handing out emergency kits and also teaching communities about disaster-resilient farming. Relief packages contain basic foods items which could sustain an average family for one week. It also includes items to help improve the quality of life for the family at the evacuation centers. Rice, beans, fish, soap, blanket, and a mattress are included for the family. Psychosocial support for children is also readily offered.
Disaster relief efforts are divided into two stages: response and development in preparedness. Overall, relief efforts in Manila and surrounding villages have wound down in response and ramped up for preparedness. However, all of the Filipino NGOs agree that this is the hardest to raise money for. For the dangerous flood-prone areas of the Philippines, preparedness includes equipping each village with an evacuation plan. For some, it is to run up the mountain since it is the highest point from the overwhelming water. In other communities, they have focused on building evacuation centers to house 40-50 families. The NGOs have done an amazing job as well with training the people to use their local resources.
The staffers of many of GlobalGiving’s partner organizations are incredibly close to the people that they’re benefiting. The staff lives amongst them. Staff tends to come from the wealthier families, and they are very content to be integrated with the poor and live their lives to serve.
Zamil noticed a unique willingness on behalf of the NGOs to really listen, and not just impose a solution from outside. They worked together with the community in intellectually strategizing, and asked again that they work together in physical execution. For example, the community shared their local knowledge in boat building rather than buying.
As the subject of building boats came up, a new community member emerged with some incredible input. He is a refugee from Mali, and had settled in one of the flood-prone areas around Manila. He came forward in the midst of this collaboration between the NGOs and the community and shared what he had: the knowledge of how to build fiber-glass boats. In most of the Philippines, wood or rubber boats are built, and they are not as good. From a cost standpoint alone, $800 will build a fiber-glass boat versus $1600 for a wood or rubber boat! With new knowledge, now all the people in this community are building fiber-glass boats to prepare for future disasters.
To sum this report up, “One person can make a difference and every person should try.” (JFK)
Let’s keep changing the world!
Hooray! Thanks to your generous donations our partners Peace Winds America and Asia America Initiative have funded their Typhoon Bopha emergency responses. Because of you, emergency relief was brought to 500 families and counseling and care to 100 children. Peace Winds America and their Philippine local partner Citizen’s Disaster Response Center (CDRC) focused their relief efforts on 5 communities in the Bukidnon province after they realized that most other relief operations were concentrated in the Compostela Valley region. 500 families in the cities of Cabanghan, Bangcud, Campuhan, Batangan and Poblacion received relief goods such as relief packages, shelter and hygiene amenities. These packages contained basic items that can support a family for one week such as: rice, mongo beans, dried fish, sardines, cooking oil, one laundry soap bar, one blanket and one mattress.
In addition to the relief that was brought to 500 families, Peace Winds America helped provide counseling to 100 children in evacuation shelters. Often times, psycho-social support is overlooked in disaster relief because efforts are focused on medical care, food and other basic necessities. Anxiety was prevalent among many of the children because they had witnessed their homes being swept away by the flood and did not know where they were going to be relocated. Many of the families cannot even return to where their houses once stood because erosion from the flooding took it away. Using different forms of counseling such as conveying their thoughts and feelings through discussions and art, the children were able to better understand their situation and calm their anxieties.
Asia America Initiative served approximately 10,000 families or more than 50,000 persons through GlobalGiving funds of $1,600; $15,000 cash contributions from larger foundations and more than $1.5 million worth of relief supplies, clean water, emergency meals and public health supplies. Your GlobalGiving donations helped send AAI flood relief teams of volunteers, college students and young professions to work with other relief teams of the Philippine military, local government officials and private humanitarian NGOs in the areas of Quezon City, Taquig, Marakina and Laguna. Their concerted efforts provided protective clothing, medicines, blankets, water purification tabs, and hygiene antiseptics as well as rubber boots for more than 1,000 children living in polluted ankle-deep flood waters.
These relief teams are lessening the possibilities of epidemics of waterborne tropical diseases such as dengue fever and leptospirtosis which is a medieval plague cause by rats breeding in garbage and stagnant water. Not only did they create campaigns for epidemic prevention, but they also engaged in other programs that are still going on. These programs include multi-disciplinary education and livelihood programs, donations of nutritional supplies, and efforts to attain clean water filtering systems.
We at GlobalGiving are so thankful for our amazing donors like you! You help to bring real change and solutions to problems that seem like they can never be solved. Tens of thousands of lives have been saved in the Philippines because of you, even a donation as small as $10 has helped to make a difference in the disaster-stricken area. Thank you!!
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