Bring Education to the Children of the Philippines

 
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A school supported by UNICEF after Typhoon Haiyan
A school supported by UNICEF after Typhoon Haiyan

Last November, when Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines, its widespread reverberations were felt throughout thirty-six provinces, claiming the lives of over 6,000 residents and impacting over 17.8 million individuals, including 7.4 million children.

Within 48 hours after Typhoon Haiyan struck, UNICEF was on the ground working alongside Government and other partners to provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene, restore access to education, restock health supplies, and scale up nutrition and child protection support services. 

Typhoon Haiyan left 3,200 schools and daycare centers damaged or destroyed, and many other schools were immediately converted into evacuation centers. More than a million pre-school and school-aged children were out of school and close to 31,600 teachers were affected by the storm. Bringing children back to learning became an immediate priority in order to prevent severe disruption in childhood education. 

In November 2013, schools in affected areas began with a ‘soft re-opening’, with classes fully resuming on January 6, 2014, and daycare centers resuming a few weeks later. UNICEF’s continuing response included: 

  • Distributing learning materials and supplies to 624,783 pre-school and school-aged children. 
  • Providing 7,894 teachers’ kits along with 165,850 learning materials, 1,225 bookcases complete with library sets and 1,602 blackboards to schools in high impacted areas.
  • Training 3,470 education personnel on education in emergencies and Disaster Risk Reduction. 

The generous and immediate response of our donors fully funded UNICEF’s humanitarian response and early recovery efforts through November 2014. UNICEF would like to encourage donors to give flexible funding to continue to build resilience across the Philippines, as well as to respond to the humanitarian needs in other parts of the country. Focused on longer-term recovery, UNICEF is working with the Government and its reconstruction plan for 2015.

Thank you for helping us put children first in the Philippines in the aftermath of this devastating storm. Our job is not finished yet and with your help, we will keep working until every child can survive, go to school and be protected in every corner of Philippines and around the world.

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Coloring in a child-friendly space in Tacloban.
Coloring in a child-friendly space in Tacloban.

Six months after Typhoon Haiyan tore through the central Philippines, notable signs of recovery have emerged. With UNICEF’s support, children have returned to school, and the most vulnerable have been provided with life-saving vaccinations and access to safe water.

UNICEF and partners reached 470,000 preschool and school-aged children with learning supplies and materials in the affected areas. Some 135,000 children benefited from 1,351 UNICEF-supported ‘temporary learning spaces’ equipped with school-in-a-box kits, and recreational and early childhood and development materials. Some 900 education service providers were trained on emergency-related subjects including disaster risk reduction and continuing education during emergencies.

The storm impacted 14 million people, 5.9 million of whom are children, and though UNICEF has helped many begin to re-build their lives and return to school, there is still a long road ahead. UNICEF’s efforts would not be possible without your support and generosity – we thank you.

 

Photos in this report © UNICEF Giacomo Pirozzi. 

For a comprehensive look at UNICEF’s response to Typhoon Haiyan, please see the attached complete four month progress report. 


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Carl and Alexa at Palo Central Elementary School
Carl and Alexa at Palo Central Elementary School

It’s been four months since Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines on 8 November 2013 and though children’s needs remain great, and it will take years for communities to fully recover, real and significant progress has been made in its aftermath. From day one, UNICEF put children at the center of the response, working with communities, government counterparts, civil society and a wide range of local and international partners. Your donations have helped UNICEF provide 430,000 basic education materials for children as part of a wide-ranging back-to-learning campaign. UNICEF also integrated efforts so that children returning to school have access to safe water and adequate sanitation for boys and girls, together with hygiene education in their learning environment.

Typhoon Haiyan damaged or destroyed close to 3,200 schools and day care centers. Other schools served as evacuation centers. As a result, over a million pre-school and school-aged children were out of school and close to 31,600 teachers were affected. Bringing children back to learning was an immediate priority, as children were at risk of their education being severely disrupted. To date, your donations have helped UNICEF and partners to provide close to 153,000 children with backpacks and school supplies and some 132,000 children have benefitted from 1,320 UNICEF-supported temporary learning spaces’ equipped with school-in-a-box kits, and recreational and early childhood and development materials.

Bringing psychosocial support to children and teachers has also been a priority in the aftermath of disaster. In the wake of Haiyan, your donations have helped support UNICEF’s work with partners to reach teachers, day care workers and education authorities with training on how to support children affected by the Typhoon. UNICEF is also working with parent groups and communities to accelerate children’s return to school and adopt disaster risk reduction practices – including life-skills programs that promote best health, sanitation and hygiene practices.

UNICEF’s efforts would not be possible without your support and generosity – we thank you.

Photos in this report © UNICEF Diana Valcarcel  

For a comprehensive look at UNICEF’s response to Typhoon Haiyan, please see the attached complete four month progress report. 

A child friendly space in Rizol school, Tacloban.
A child friendly space in Rizol school, Tacloban.

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Rachel Steinberg

New York, New York United States

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