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!!
In July and August 2012, the Philippines experienced torrential rainstorms. The flooding that resulted in the capital city, Manila, has affected more than 2 million people, forced at least 20,000 to flee their homes and more than 60 people lost their lives. Since that time, GlobalGiving’s Philippine Flood Relief Fund has been able to facilitate emergency relief as well as rebuilding efforts. Peace Winds America and Asia America Initiative have been instrumental in the relief efforts since this tremendous disaster.
Peace Winds America has partnered with a local organization, Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC) to allocate relief supplies to families who have been forced to evacuate their homes as a result of the torrential tropical storms in the Philippines. The immediate need is great, as families are beginning to return to their homes and require basic necessities which PWA and CDRC are able to provide.
Looking ahead, PWA has begun to support CDRC in long term “community-based disaster management programs, necessary to lessen the impact of future disasters in this vulnerable nation.” While there is an immediate need to distribute basic supplies for people to survive, the ultimate goal of Peace Winds America is to implement disaster management programs so communities in areas that experience consistent tropical rain storms are well prepared with stable shelter, escape routes and food so their safety will not be compromised.
Asia America Initiative is also assisting with immediate relief efforts in the Philippines. AAI has helped to sustain communities in Quezon City, Taquig, Marakina and Laguna. AAI has delivered clean water, clothing, blankets and hygiene materials for evacuees in these regions. The program that AAI has applied has drastically reduced the spread of infectious diseases throughout temporary camps for displaced people. AAI has observed waterborne tropical diseases like dengue fever and leptospirosis spreading in dam water overflows and hopes to prevent epidemics from occurring through water filtering systems and distributing medicines.
Peace Winds America and Asia America Initiative are the newest additions to the GlobalGiving Philippine Flood Relief Fund. Check out their project pages to learn more about how they are making a positive impact in the Philippines. Thank you for your generous contributions this holiday season!
In July and August 2012, the Philippines experienced torrential rainstorms. The flooding that resulted in the capital city, Manila, has affected more than 2 million people, forced at least 20,000 to flee their homes and more than 60 people lost their lives. Manila was completely covered in water at the peak of the floods, shutting down shops, schools, and stores. Food is currently in short supply as the rice fields were turned into useless mush.
Here is the good news: Your donations have already provided $4000 to the Asia America Initiative, who has used this money to provide water purification systems, fever reducing medicine and warm blankets. Asia America’s long term impact will help to prevent disease from spreading and at risk persons from exposure to the now harsh environment. To learn more about their project, click here.
Our other partners are also helping the people of the Philippines get back on their feet.
Architecture for Humanity is supporting long-term recovery and disaster mitigation efforts by identifying reconstruction projects for those most in need. Their project’s link can be found here.
Merlin USA is working to deliver hygiene kits and emergency health care supplies to over 300 families. Merlin is also working to raise awareness about the spread of disease through evacuation shelters. To find out more, click on their project’s link here.
The United States Fund for UNICEF has assessed the need in the Philippines and is requesting donations for portable toilets, temporary shelter, child registration and child counseling services. You can visit their project page here.
De La Salle University is currently engaged with student volunteers preparing food packages and basic necessities to be shipped to priority areas. Their project can be found by clicking on this link here.
If you would like to donate to the GlobalGiving fund, the donations given to the fund will be divided according to the need of each of the organizations listed above. You can access our Philippines Flood Relief Fund here.
GlobalGiving and our partners have begun to respond, and will continue to respond to this immediate need for basic necessities such as food, clean water, and shelter. When a disaster hits, people’s daily lives are knocked off balance. You have the ability to restore that balance, both in the short term and in the long term. Small items, such as a fever reducing pill, have a huge impact. The city of Manila will eventually need to be re-built by experienced architects, and they cannot do it alone. Please visit all of our Philippines Flood Relief Projects here.
Thank you once again for your generous support!
Thank you again for your generous donation to GlobalGiving's Philippine Flood Relief Fund, which supported the disaster relief efforts of three organizations based in the Philippines after Tropical Storm Washi swept through in December 2011: De La Salle University in Manila, Merlin, and SIBAT (Sibol Ng Agham At Teknolohiya Inc).
Each organization assisted storm survivors by helping them meet basic needs. The community of De La Salle University came together to direct relief services and supplies such as food and blankets to families in areas that were badly affected. Merlin provided hygiene kits to families in these areas to prevent the spread of disease that can often occur after storms have wiped out medical centers. SIBAT was rehabilitating a storm-damaged hydro power plant in Rapu-Rapu, Albay Province so that members of a small coastal community could move towards a stronger sustainable economy.
Now, the social development unit of De La Salle University in Manila, the Center for Social Concern and Action (COSCA), is partnering with local government to build the skills of local officials in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. COSCA hosted a Disaster Risk Reduction and Management workshop for 42 government officials from March 20-22, 2012. The 42 participants practiced utilizing social networking platforms, early warning systems, and alarms to respond to future disasters quickly and efficiently. They also participated in field visits to local hazard prone areas. Afterwards, participants expressed strong interest in taking what they'd learned at the workshop to put into organized practice in their municipalities.
Thank you again for your generous donation to the Philippine Flood Relief Fund. Your donation has meant so much. You've assisted locally operated organizations in saving lives during a natural disaster. Now, your donation is supporting the training of local government officials so that they can continue to respond to natural disasters in the fastest and most coordinated way possible. Would you like to donate again to support local organizations as they prepare for future disasters?
Thank you for all that you do.
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