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Two weeks after Typhoon Haiyan devastated her region in the Philippines, Maria now has a safe space to play and learn again. The Rizal Central School in Tacloban City, where Maria and her family are staying, is the first evacuation center to receive a child-friendly space set up by Save the Children in collaboration with UNICEF and the Department of Social Welfare in the Philippines.
Of the shelter, Maria’s father says, “Before Save the Children arrived, the children just wandered around playing here every day, but they caught coughs and colds, probably from the dirty environment they were playing in. The child-friendly space will be very helpful.”
The new play area provides comfort and security for Maria after losing everything during Typhoon Haiyan. Her family’s home was completely destroyed, and they lost all their personal belongings after placing them at a friend’s house that had been deemed safer for storage. But the strength of the storm destroyed everything in the area.
“I went home two days after the storm, but there was nothing there,” Maria’s father says. A fish vendor, he also hasn’t been able to work since the typhoon hit.
Save the Children is helping by distributing relief items including tarpaulins, blankets, buckets, hygiene items and kitchen sets to the people in the Rizal Central School. “The things provided to us by Save the Children were useful,” Maria’s father says. “It was also very reassuring that help arrived for us.”
But there is more work to be done. Maria’s father wants to eventually rebuild a house for his family and hopes that his children can go to school again. With caring people like you to support Save the Children’s response efforts, we can help make those dreams a reality.