3 November 2014

One Year Later: Typhoon Haiyan and SOS Children's Villages

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Destroyed houses in Tacloban after Typhoon Haiyan.


On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, the deadliest typhoon ever to hit the Philippines and one of the strongest storms ever recorded, made landfall in the Philippines. It destroyed thousands of homes, schools and businesses in the Tacloban region alone, and over 6,300 people in the Philippines lost their lives.

Emergency rescue teams from international NGOs, including SOS Children's Villages, were on the ground almost immediately to help with urgent needs. One year later, our emergency work continues, with a committed focus on sustainable help that will help make a positive impact on the lives of those affected.

Hope for orphaned children: the SOS Kinship Program
 

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Rasty and his sister are being cared for by his grandparents.
 

The heart of our emergency response program in Tacloban, where SOS Children's Villages has been working for 40 years, is helping orphaned children. Our Kinship Program, which was designed to specifically support children who lost parents or caretakers in the typhoon, is now helping 124 children. Each child in the Kinship Program receives, through their guardian, a monthly stipend to cover expenses for education, clothing, health care, and even day-to-day expenses like transportation and food for school.

School reconstruction

SOS Children's Villages is rebuilding this elementary school.
 

SOS Children’s Villages has taken on full responsibility for rebuilding and reconstructing Palanog 12 Elementary School, which was completely destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan. By early 2015, we plan to have restored 12 classrooms and other essential facilities, so that the children of Palanog will again have a safe and supportive place for learning.

Building homes, securing families

The house-building element of the SOS Children’s Villages emergency response program aims to build approximately 600 houses for families in need at two different target relocation sites. The Acosta family – a family of three - was the first to receive a model house from SOS Children’s Villages. Their new home serves as the blueprint for hundreds more houses yet to come.

Sustaining a living
 

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Two men with their fishing boat sponsored by SOS Children's Villages.
 

The old adage goes: give a man fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. “We leverage the existing skills of the people," said Oscar Garol, Village Director of SOS Children's Village Tacloban. 'If they were fishermen [before Typhoon Haiyan], we give them boats. If they were carpenters, we give them heavy duty tools of their own. If they used to be the neighborhood cook, we give them capital to re-start their own carinderias [food stalls].”

So far, the breadwinners of 467 families throughout the Tacloban region have restarted their livelihoods through the help of such gifts from the SOS Children’s Villages’ livelihood program.

Supporting children and families through Child-Care Spaces

 

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Fun times at the SOS Child Care Space set up at Barangay Bislig.
 

SOS Children's Villages set out to establish the first Child-Care Spaces (CCS) in Tacloban, with the first being set up just one week after Typhoon Haiyan, when the communities were still reeling from the catastrophe.
 
The SOS Children’s Villages CCS features various therapeutic exercises like storytelling, painting, games, music and more. For the children, CCS activities provide a way to talk, play and share their experiences with others of their own age. For the parents, these spaces are a safe place to leave their children while they work on rebuilding their homes and livelihoods.
 
SOS Children’s Villages established 11 Child-Care Spaces all over Tacloban and served more than 2,000 children. More than 32 volunteer advocates – some of them part of the communities themselves – participated as facilitators for the CCS facilities.

Rebuilding the SOS village

Completely destroyed in the storm, the SOS Children’s Village in Tacloban was a ghost town in the days after Typhoon Haiyan. Today, it is bustling with activity again, especially with children playing and having fun.
 
A systematic reconstruction effort has been undertaken at SOS Children’s Village Tacloban. The village is now bigger and better than even before the catastrophe – a safe and secure haven for children.

Donate to SOS Children's Villages today to help support vulnerable children and families during emergency situations.