Children's Emergency Fund

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Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda, was one of the most powerful storms ever recorded. It made landfall in the Philippines on November 8, 2013, leaving a massive trail of devastation. More than 6,000 people were killed and millions were left homeless. Buildings and roads crumbled, fishing boats were wrecked, and groves of coconut trees were flattened, leaving many families unable to earn the incomes they depended on.

Save the Children’s Response

  • Established a shelter program that is enabling over 5,000 households to start building durable, storm-resistant homes.
  • Provided training and tools to over 600 carpenters, helping them rebuild their communities and their own livelihoods.
  • Reached more than 90,000 children, with water, sanitation and hygiene activities.
  • Distributed 49,000 hygiene kits, along with water jugs, water purification tablets and treatment kits.
  • Constructed over 1,100 latrines for households and schools, repaired water systems and conducted hygiene promotion activities.
  • Established 48 Child Friendly Spaces – More than 32,000 children attended Child Friend Spaces.
  • Friend Spaces since Haiyan struck.
  • Conducted support training with parents and caregivers, helping adults identify when a child may be in need of help and guidance – and what that should be.
  • Provided over 100 temporary learning spaces and repaired damaged schools.
  • Distributed over 7,000 school bags to children, along with thousands of teacher kits and recreational materials for educators.
  • Trained and supported teachers to help them work with children and enable them to deal with their experiences.
  • Conducted over 40,000 consultations though our mobile health units in the most remote areas. We provided primary health services, along with counseling and education on reproductive health, breastfeeding and other issues.
  • We have screened 33,000 mothers and children for malnutrition and reached 14,000 children through our supplementary feeding program.
  • Providing hospitals with medical supplies, equipment and manpower.

Survivor Stories from Typhoon Haiyan 

Rafael's Story in His Own Words

Raphael, 10, tells of his experience during Typhoon Haiyan.

"When we went out of the house, my father was hit by a collapsed wall. There was blood everywhere. I tried to wake him up but he wasn't moving anymore. The water got even higher and I wanted to carry my father with the tide but I thought we would both die.

I was scared and crying.

I swam and swam and every time I was tired I would cling to a log. Then I would swim again. It was a miracle that I survived.

When I was swimming, the rain felt like needles on my face. I was very afraid for my mother and siblings as well as I thought they were all dead."

Drifting through the village, Rafael finally fell asleep.

"When I woke up it was a miracle because I was in another village and I saw some of my friends."

He began walking to the evacuation center to meet with his family. The first thing he told his mother when he got there was that his dad had died and they both cried together.

His mother told him that they had been through similar things on their way out. They have a baby and one of the youngest children is disabled with slow mental and physical development.

"Dad was really protective and generous. Although we are poor, he would always make sure that he would bring something home to us after work. Whenever he prepared his coffee he would share half of the cup with me."

They are now living in a van outside the center as they cannot stand the stench inside.

"We are getting sick, my siblings are always coughing because it is very cold and we don't have any dry clothes at the moment. We don't have anything with us.

My two baby siblings don't have water. They are drinking water from a water hose and it isn’t clean."

Born Into a Storm

A Story of Newborn Survival After Typhoon Haiyan.

Little Jolie wriggles around in his sleep, stretching, yawning and rubbing his face with his small hands. His mother wipes away tears as she watches over him, still overwhelmed that they’re both alive.

Just two days old, Jolie entered the world less than a week after Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Philippines. He was born in the same room that his parents and four siblings took shelter in during the mega storm.

Abigail and her husband had a two-bedroom bamboo home, but now it’s a pile of rubble. Their belongings were washed out to sea by the storm surge that engulfed the island’s entire coast. Abigail and her family took shelter at her mother-in-law’s house. “I was so stressed that I thought I might give birth during the storm, and I was scared for my baby.”

Jolie was born days later with only the aid of a midwife. He hasn’t been seen by a doctor or received any medical care.

Abigail’s life with Jolie has been made more difficult because she hasn’t been able to breastfeed. Without encouragement and skilled support on how to start breastfeeding, Abigail may need to rely on infant formula, which will increase Jolie’s risk of getting sick and dying. It’s a cruel burden for people who have lost almost everything.

“I need help, we all do,” Abigail says. “I am scared for my son and my family. We need clothing, food, livelihood and shelter. We need everything.”

After the typhoon, Save the Children was in the field helping families like Jolie’s who survived. With your help, we provided emergency kits for children and families, including household and hygiene supplies, access to health services through mobile clinics and skilled breastfeeding support to mothers and their newborns.

That help arrived for us.”

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