Help Families Recover from Typhoon Haiyan

by International Disaster Volunteers (IDV)
These kids will have light during typhoons!
These kids will have light during typhoons!

It’s now almost 20 months since typhoon Haiyan tore through the central Philippines affecting over 14 million people in total.

There’s still a huge amount of work to be done but in the city of Tacloban the signs of slow but steady recovery are visible almost everywhere you look. Homes are being rebuilt, schools and classrooms are being repaired and businesses are reopening.

But the memory of the typhoon’s devastation lives on in the minds of people whose lives were turned upside down by the disaster. Physical damage can be repaired but mental and emotional scars, while less visible, are often slower to heal.

Survivors are working hard to rebuild their lives but many still live in fear of further disaster as the threat of future typhoons is sadly all too real.

In an average year the Philippines is hit by over twenty typhoons and tropical storms. What’s more, with climate change, these storms are increasing both in number and strength. So, it’s inevitable that survivors of typhoon Haiyan are going to be hit by another typhoon before too long.

But while we can’t change the weather there is a lot that can be done to try and make a storm’s impacts less devastating.

Being properly prepared can make a huge difference and in the Philippines people are often assigned places in evacuation centres ahead of incoming typhoons. In more rural locations these centres are often in schools and other community buildings which are often more sturdily constructed than people’s wooden homes.

As storms and typhoons approach people are encouraged to evacuate to these centres to ride out the severe weather. With many people sheltering in such buildings it’s essential that these centres are properly equipped ahead of time.

It’s for this reason that we’ve recently begun working to provide several rural evacuation centres with emergency generators for use during typhoons.

These communities often lose power during storms and this can make the experience worse as people are left without the ability to charge phones and contact loved ones. Families also have to spend many nights in the dark and this can be particularly scary for young children.

Providing an emergency generator addresses these issues, and also makes the practicalities of evacuation much easier in general.

So we were delighted to have recently provided an emergency generator to the San Agustin Daycare, which also functions as an evacuation centre during typhoons.

Thanks to your amazing support we not only provided a generator but we also carried out electrical work so that the building’s power source can be changed from the mains supply to the generator at the simple flick of a switch. This means that the building’s lights and electrical outlets can be used as normal, even when the mains supply is down.

We’re aiming to provide several more evacuation centers with generators. This July 15 GlobalGiving will be making this much easier by matching donations to this project by an incredible 50%.

Matching will start at 9am Eastern Time (or 2pm in the UK) and donations up to $1,000 (or around £670) per donor will be matched while funds remain. So, please consider making a gift on July 15, and please also spread the word about this incredible opportunity.

As always, if you ever have any queries about how we’re using your donation, please don’t hesitate to email I would be delighted to hear from you.

We want to provide more generators like this one
We want to provide more generators like this one
You've helped us feed these nursing mums !

Thanks to your amazing support we recently worked with our partner Mobile Soup Kitchen for Kids (MSKK) to provide hundreds of hot, nutritious meals in Tacloban’s Barangay 88.

This is one of Tacloban’s coastal communities and it was devastated by typhoon Haiyan and the accompanying storm surge. All the houses were destroyed and environmental damage meant that families, who mainly relied on fishing to survive, also lost their livelihoods.

Families living in Barangay 88 have received temporary houses but life is still very tough. People in the community work hard but when they try to fish the catch is usually poor. What they do catch they have to share with the actual owners of the fishing boats, which they just “rent”. Some people look for construction work, but this can only be found occasionally. As a result of all this it’s a daily struggle to put food on the table.

Our recent work providing hot meals in the community offered a few days relief from this struggle and gave families, still struggling to recover from typhoon Haiyan, an important lifeline.

The meals we provided saved families from having to use precious savings to pay for food. It also meant that kids didn’t have to go to school hungry. By placing a special focus on young children and mums with nursing infants these meals also helped keep some of the most vulnerable residents well nourished and healthier.

Of course, while important in providing relief, feedings like these aren’t a long-term solution to food insecurity and full recovery from the typhoon. What Haiyan survivors really need are increased livelihoods opportunities so that they can provide for themselves once again.

We realised this soon after arriving in Tacloban and in response we’ve previously helped communities to grow their own food through vegetable gardens. We’ve also provided sewing machines to enable women to make products to sell.

But we wanted to do more to help families with their long-term recovery. So, we’re delighted to have recently partnered with Oxfam to help lift 150 fishing families out of the poverty caused by Haiyan. We’ve done this largely by providing a sixty foot fishing boat to a local fisherfolk association in another of Tacloban’s coastal communities.

The city’s coastal waters were damaged by Haiyan and have since been heavily over-fished due to many small boats being provided. However, our boat is large enough to travel into deeper waters where fishing is more productive and sustainable.

The boat is also communally owned by members of the fisherfolk association. This means that they don’t have to provide a share of their catch to boat owners.

Finally, while the fishing crews are still predominantly male, many women are actively involved in the process of drying and selling the catch. This means that families are now working together, both as households and as a community, to recover from typhoon Haiyan.

Thanks so much for helping us to meet both immediate and long-term needs after the typhoon.

As always, if you ever have any queries about how we’re using your donation, please don’t hesitate to email I would be delighted to hear from you.

This boat will help families feed themselves
This boat will help families feed themselves
The boat
The boat's size means it can fish in deeper water
Our team board up windows to limit typhoon damage
Our team board up windows to limit typhoon damage

Since our last project report the Philippines marked the first anniversary of typhoon Haiyan.

A year ago last November typhoon Haiyan, known locally as “Yolanda”, devastated the country.  Up to 10,000 people were killed and an estimated 11 million people were affected.

For families still struggling to recover from Haiyan the approach of typhoon Ruby, less than one month after Haiyan’s anniversary, was simply terrifying!

Ruby was the most powerful storm to threaten the Philippines since Haiyan and the potential for further devastation was massive.

But thanks to you, we were there to help Haiyan survivors weather this latest storm.

Before Ruby made landfall we visited our partners in Tacloban and helped with typhoon preparations.  At the San Agustin school for example we boarded up classroom windows while teachers wrapped equipment in waterproof bags.

Working together, and motivated by past experiences, everyone helped try to limit Ruby’s impacts.

Ruby struck on December 6, 2014, and as soon as the worst had past, we were out responding to the situation in Tacloban.  Fortunately the typhoon’s impacts were much less devastating than feared.  Although there was damage, Tacloban avoided a direct hit and everyone’s preparations had also paid off.

We learnt that many families in the area surrounding Tacloban had removed their roofing tin before the storm.  This had prevented the iron sheets being lost, or becoming deadly missiles.  This helped limit Ruby’s damage, but now these families needed to rebuild their roofs.

Thanks to your generosity, this was something we were able to immediately help with.

While visiting our partners again after Ruby we took the opportunity to distribute over 150 Kg of new roofing nails to families on-route.  For families still trying to recover from Haiyan these new nails, while simple, saved them valuable money and helped provide them with a secure roof after typhoon Ruby.

Over the next two days we were delighted to discover that, although our partners had all suffered minor damage, each of them had also weathered this latest typhoon without suffering major harm.

Of course, we still helped our partners to repair what damage there had been.  At Lun Tad school for example we provided new paint and floor wax to fix water damage.

It’s only because of your previous donations that we were there, both before and after this latest typhoon, to help those still recovering from typhoon Haiyan.  Thanks so much for all you’ve already given.

There’s still so much to be done to help families recover from typhoon Haiyan, so if you can, please consider donating to our continued work.

As always, if you ever have any questions about how we’re using your donations, please don’t hesitate to email I would be delighted to hear from you.

Roofing nails to repair homes after the typhoon
Roofing nails to repair homes after the typhoon
He's repairing his roof, thanks to you!
Our workshops were attended by community leaders
Our workshops were attended by community leaders

Thanks to your generous donations we were recently able to complete a series of ten first aid workshops for families affected by typhoon Haiyan.

These workshops, which we introduced in our last project report, were each two days long and taught participants how to assess and handle a wide range of first aid scenarios, from medical emergencies to basic wound care.

Through these workshops a total of almost 450 people learned the skills they’ll need to help their families and friends in the future.

Each of the workshops was held in a different community (or Barangay) of the city of Tacloban. Many were held in the poorer Barangays along the city’s coastline, which often receive less help than those downtown.  Because residents of these communities receive less help, providing them with these skills was doubly important.

Although attendance fluctuated a little from day to day we were delighted that overall consistency was good.  Many of those who returned on the second day also overcame their initial shyness and asked more and more questions.  This showed us that they were taking on the information and really thinking about it overnight.

We were also delighted that many Barangay officials, as well as ordinary residents, attended our courses.  These officials live in the community and are responsible for its welfare on a day-today basis, so their involvement was critical to ensuring that the lessons provided will take root.

As the workshops neared completion we also ensured that participants would have the tools they need to use their new skills.  We did this by providing each Barangay with a first aid kit containing dozens of items like bandages, gauze, antiseptic, burn creams and much more.  

Each kit also contains multiple first-aid manuals summarising the skills learnt during the workshops.  These manuals are in English and also translated into the local dialect of Waray-Waray to make sure everyone can access the knowledge inside.

None of this would have been possible without your previous donations.  So, once again, thanks so much for all you’ve given.  

There’s still so much to be done to help families recover from typhoon Haiyan, but happily GlobalGiving are here to help.

On November 8th, while funds last, GlobalGiving will be matching donations to this project by 100%.  This is a great opportunity for you to double your impact.  So please, consider donating on November 8th and also sharing this opportunity with others.

As always, if you ever have any queries about how we’re using your donations, please don’t hesitate to email I would be delighted to hear from you.

Manuals to help people remember the skills learned
Manuals to help people remember the skills learned
First aid supplies were also provided
First aid supplies were also provided
Hundreds of kids received a hot meal thanks to you
Hundreds of kids received a hot meal thanks to you

On July 16th, typhoon Glenda slammed into the Philippines bringing hurricane force winds and rain.

Less than a year after Haiyan devastated their lives, the residents of Tacloban were scared and many people living in coastal communities were evacuated as a precaution. In the end, Glenda passed safely north of Tacloban, but thousands of Haiyan survivors were still forced from their homes for the second time this year.

Thanks to your donations we were there to help make this second displacement that little bit easier for those affected.

Our mobile “soup kitchen” sprang into action to prepare a nutritious and warming hot meal for evacuees. Between the Anibong Elementary school and the Tacloban Astrodome our soup kitchen fed over 600 people forced from their homes by Glenda.

The meals we provided helped keep families healthy and full of hope that the world hadn’t forgotten them. Even before Glenda struck our soup kitchen had already provided thousands of meals - and this is all thanks to you!

While hot meals provide comfort and nutrition, evacuated families also worry about looking after each other in other ways when severe weather strikes.

Because of this we’ve also been organizing first aid workshops since July. These two day workshops start by teaching a step-by-step process on how to approach a medical emergency, bleeding control, amputations, lacerations, dog bites, impalement, sprains, broken bones, and CPR.

The second day begins with a review, then head/spinal injuries, how to move patients, burns, infections, dressing wounds, stroke, heart attack, heat stroke, and finishes with various medical questions the participants. The locations of these workshops vary, but they usually take place in the temporary “community-center” of the barangay (or village).

So far we’ve run 6 workshops, all of which have been enthusiastically received by hundreds of Tacloban’s residents. Thanks to your donations we’ll also be providing each barangay with a comprehensive first aid kit. You’ve given families affected by typhoon Haiyan the skills and materials they need to look after each other in the future.

As always, if you ever have any queries about how we’re using your donation, please don’t hesitate to email I would be delighted to hear from you.

Families have learned skills to help each other
Families have learned skills to help each other

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Organization Information

International Disaster Volunteers (IDV)

Location: Bristol, Somerset - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Andy Chaggar
Bristol, Somerset United Kingdom

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