In our work to fight against the root causes of poverty, it often takes a whole community to come to the aid of another community in need. That’s what you made happen a year ago for communities like Tacloban in the Philippines that were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.
Our World Vision Bloggers are in the Philippines this week marking the one-year anniversary of the storm and witnessing first-hand the remarkable progress that’s been made this past year and what’s still to come. Follow their trip right here!
A year ago today, I remember watching the radar maps of the Western Pacific and the fat, white, somewhat bagel-looking cloud that blotted out whole seas and countries – trying to picture what was about to happen for people in the Philippines.
I didn’t, fully.
Hurricanes and typhoons make landfall every year, and many of them cause damage, some severely. But Haiyan was the strongest recorded storm to make landfall. Ever. And it hit a part of the world that wasn’t well developed, especially when it comes to weathering a powerful storm.
6,000 people were gone overnight. That’s every person in the town where I attended university – students and faculty included. 4 million left homeless and 14 million affected – numbers I can’t properly envision. The suddenness of this kind of natural disaster (earthquakes and tsunamis, too) can be surprising … how a community can go from everyday life to complete poverty overnight. Literally.
What amazed me more in the weeks following were the stories of survival: how a father who ran back home from where his family was sheltered for their cow, their only livelihood, was reunited – cow included! – with his family the following day when the storm was over.
And on this side of the world, I was amazed by the overwhelming support of our American donors – you – who made this past year’s relief efforts truly that: relief.
With your help, World Vision was able to provide immediate emergency help to over 700,000 people, a number that has grown to more than a million now.
We’ve been able to help more than 35,000 people rebuild their homes and livelihoods, and we’re repairing health centers and water systems for these communities.
You helped us set up Child-Friendly Spaces, where children could go and feel safe, recover from the trauma they’d experienced and learn to be children again.
This is the work that our World Vision Bloggers are seeing right now in the Philippines: how specific people and communities were affected, how World Vision has helped them recover, and what we’re looking to do in year two of the recovery.
They’ll also be visiting some of our child sponsorship work in the Philippines and seeing how sponsorship lays a foundation of development in communities that helps make them more resilient to natural disasters and better equipped to recover quickly.
As our bloggers publish live from the field this weekend and next week, you can follow their trip here on the blog as well as on Twitter with the hashtag #WVBloggers.
You can also continue to help communities in the Philippines recover by investing in the communities where children live and play and go to school. Sponsor a child in the Philippines today!