News

Celebrate Solutions: Emergency Relief in the Philippines

By: Tyler LePard, Catapult

Super Typhoon Haiyan left many children in the Philippines without protection, food or clean water. The city hardest hit by the storm was Tacloban, where 11-year-old Marie lives. She remembered, “It was horrifying; I thought I was going to die. Half of our rooftop went flying.”

Fortunately, the Catapult community and Johnson & Johnson funded SOS Children’s Villages to provide emergency relief for families in the Philippines and help them recover from Haiyan.

The SOS Village in Tacloban is home to more than 130 children and young adults and – until the storm – also provided daycare, vocational training, and health care to 110 families in the surrounding community. Haiyan virtually destroyed the city, and many facilities in the SOS Village sustained significant damage.

“In calamities like this, children are the most vulnerable,” Sumanta Kar, deputy national director of SOS Children’s Village India, said. “Schools are closed and children are neglected because of more pressing, practical issues, like looking for food and shelter.”

Since the Typhoon, SOS Children’s Villages has been hard at work rebuilding its Village in Tacloban and supporting the surrounding community. The support from Catapult’s community was used for emergency relief and recovery programs.

SOS also established 11 Child-Care Spaces across Tacloban, which provide children with a place where they can talk, play, and be kids again. Trained counselors at the Child-Care Spaces help children and their caregivers recover from post-traumatic stress related to the storm.

Child-Care Spaces have served more than 2,000 children so far.

For parents, Child-Care Spaces are safe places where children can be cared for as they begin rebuilding their lives – reconstructing their homes, traveling to food distribution centers, and receiving other forms of support.

In addition, SOS launched a Kinship Program to provide resources for people who have taken in relatives that were orphaned by the storm. The resources provided by the Kinship Program help meet the children’s nutritional, educational, and health needs.

“How do you comfort an 11-year-old who lost her family?” said Evelyn, who took in her 11-year-old niece after the Typhoon. “I told her, ‘whatever my children have, you will have as well. I will not treat you differently. You are my child now.’”

Read the full 90-day impact report on Catapult.

Browse other “war & crisis” projects on Catapult.

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