Michael Queman, or “Q-pie” as we call him, is one of our Project Assistants for the iPREPARED project. As a climate change advocate and one of our Real Life Heroes, Q-pie knows that #ItTakesAVillage to achieve climate justice.
Get to know Q-pie as he shares his story from being a survivor to humanitarian worker:
What is your role and/or key responsibilities in Action Against Hunger?
Currently, I am working as a project assistant in the DRR Project of Action Against Hunger wherein I am coordinating with the community with regards to disaster risk reduction and resilient livelihood activities.
How long have you been working as a humanitarian worker?
I am already 12 years in the humanitarian world and started working with the organization since 2014 during Typhoon Haiyan.
What motivated you to become a humanitarian worker?
Way back in 2008, I was also a victim of displacement during the flooding in my hometown in Cotabato City. I witnessed several individuals who came and gave support to the affected families. This made me realize that I want to be in an organization that provides support, especially to the underserved and less fortunate members of the community.
Why are you making this sacrifice?
I know the feeling of being helpless and incapacitated. Providing support to improve the living condition of every person gave me a sense of fulfillment. Opportunity is not equally available to everyone, and we are instruments to alleviate the living conditions of those with less opportunities.
What have been the challenges to your work?
Aside from the pandemic, natural hazards are currently affecting our served community.
What motivates you to keep doing your work even with these challenges?
I took an opportunity of the challenges we encountered in the project. This is the time to educate the community about disaster risk reduction, especially on the importance of preparedness and mitigation.
What are you most proud of?
Witnessing the impact of the project on the community is an achievement. That somehow, you became a part of improving their living conditions.
How can you engage the youth more in your line of work?
We have seen in our naked eyes the effect of climate change. As a DRR advocate, it is important to educate and encourage the youth to put action on what they posted on social media like the campaign on #savemotherearth. That the responsibility to save mother earth is more than just posting. It’s like practicing what you are posting.
https://actionagainsthunger.ph/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/qpie5.jpg9721728Adminhttps://actionagainsthunger.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/logo_text_orig_white-1.pngAdmin2022-08-26 11:28:452022-10-20 07:44:35Real Life Heroes: Michael “Q-pie” Queman
The youth is the hope of the future, they say. In order to address the many issues impacting our fight against hunger, we must not only help children to grow up strong, but also engage and capacitate them to be the leaders they aspire to be.
We approached this by providing interventions focused on protection in the Immediate and Comprehensive Response for Communities Affected by Typhoon Rai in the Philippines project through the support of the European Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid (ECHO).
23-year-old Mario Ferrano Jr. is the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Chairperson of Barangay Mandaug in the town of Calape, Bohol. As the village’s youth leader, Mario represented his community in the 4-day Child Protection Training of the ECHO-funded Typhoon Odette Emergency Response.
The workshops, which include topics on Child-Friendly Space and Mental Health and Psychological Support, were conducted by Action Against Hunger. Mario caught the attention of the project staff and training organizers because of his sense of initiative and participation.
According to the Municipal Social Welfare Officer of the Local Government of Guindulman in Bohol, local child abuse cases increased significantly during the pandemic but doubled during the aftermath of Supertyphoon Odette (internationally known as Typhoon Rai)
Action Against Hunger initiated various programs to promote and implement protection for children in the typhoon-devastated areas of Bohol. The programs include a series of training for social workers, barangay officials, and youth leaders and the building of child friendly spaces in coordination with local government units (LGU) and barangay councils. One of the participating LGUs is the town of Calape.
Action Against Hunger conducts a four-day training on Child Protection for the community workers of selected barangays of Bohol
The training was part of the Typhoon Odette Emergency Responses protection activities, such as: provision of psychosocial support services including access to child and youth-friendly spaces, recreational activities, and psychological first aid; prevention and response to gender-based violence (GBV); reactivate and strengthen community-based protection mechanisms to assess and monitor protection concerns; and implement community awareness and feedbacking activities.
“Relevant kaayo ni nga nga project sa Action Against Hunger and ECHO, kaning Child Friendly Space. Kay usa man gud sa di mahatagan og pag-tagad during calamities, dili lang sa bagyong Odette, pag linog pod pag niagi, nabantayan pod nako nga usa jud sa mawala sa mapa, during the pandemic, is ang bata. Looy kaayo ang mga bata kay pasagdaan ra kay ang ginikanan naa didto nag pila for relief good, nangita og kwarta. Then ang mga bata napasagdaan na bitaw nga ga bulingit na, which is dili healthy sa ilang pang lawas,” Mario shared.
“This project by Action Against Hunger and ECHO, the Child Friendly Space, is extremely relevant. One of the things that are taken for granted during calamities is the children, not only during typhoon Odette, but also during the 2013 earthquake. I also noticed that children were overlooked during the pandemic. I feel sorry for the children when they get ignored because their parents are busy lining up for relief goods or looking for money. The children are taken for granted to the point that they would look dirty, which is bad for their health.”
The team also found out that even before the project’s intervention, Mario was already an active community leader in their barangay initiating programs for the benefit of the youth.
Mario volunteers as a facilitator during the Child-Friendly Space training
One of the things Mario is known for is the small youth organization he founded in the barangay—the Association of Spirited and Ardent Youth or ASAY. The name of the organization is derived from the local expression “Asay” which is a shortened version of “Asa ang…” or “Where is the…”. “Asay” is is normally used by the youth when they are asking for ‘news’ about celebrations in the neighborhood so they can go there, join the party, and eat: “Asay kaon” or “Where is the food.” This is how Mario and his team found inspiration in creating a youth community through food and celebrations. Whenever there is a celebration in the barangay such as a birthday dinner, Mario and the rest of the youth in the village would meet not only to enjoy food but also to exchange stories, ideas, and aspirations. The organization started with 19 members in 2019; now, they have more than 70 youth members. The primary target members of the organization are out-of-school youth or youth who were allegedly users of illegal drugs.
Presently, the youth members from the organizations who did not have the eagerness to go to school anymore finally enrolled in the most recently opened school year. Accordingly, none of them use illegal drugs anymore; the parents are at peace because their children come home earlier. They used to come home late because of their vices.
Mario says, “Lami bitaw paminawon nga you changed someone’s perspective. Nga imbis magpa bilin sila sa drugs, why not go to school?”
“It is nice to hear that you changed someone’s perspective in life. Instead of remaining a drug user, why not go to school?”
After hearing about the Typhoon Odette Emergency Response’s plans on protection activities, Mario got excited to participate in another volunteer opportunity for his youth community in Barangay Mandaug. As someone who has a passion for teaching and communicating, he is eager to put into action all the lessons on Children’s Protection that he gained from the series of training.
Mario (in white long-sleeved shirt for the left photo and in maroon shirt in the right photo) brainstorming with his team during a workshop as part of the Mental Health and Psychosocial Training
Mario shares, “Mapasalamaton ko sa Action Against Hunger sa pag pili sa among barangay. Kay sa tinuod lang, adunay daghan kaayo nga number of children nga maka benepesyo sa ilang programa which is the Child Friendly Space. Dako kaayo ni og tabang namo, isip opesyales sa barangay, nga amoang mahatagan og serbisyp ang amoang mga kabatan-onan didto, nga imbis sa bisyu sila, ari sila sa programa sa Action Against Hunger, which is the Child-Friendly Space…Ang dili gyud nako pwede makalimtan [nga gi tudlo sa Action Against Hunger] kay giving value to children.”
“I am thankful to Action Against Hunger for choosing our barangay as one of the beneficiaries. Indeed, we have many children who will benefit from the program, the Child Friendly Space. This is a great help to us, barangay officials, in providing service to our youth and encouraging them to participate in the program rather than get into vices….One thing I will never forget about Action Against Hunger is the lesson on giving value to children.”
Barangay Mandaug is one of the 19 barangays in Bohol that received training on Protection and funds for building a Child-Friendly Space in their respective communities. Aside from this, the residents in Mandaug also received Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Kits from Action Against Hunger as part of the Immediate and Comprehensive Response for Communities Affected by Typhoon Rai in the Philippines project.
Mario listens to his co-participant reciting during the training
Mario was recently hired as a public high school teacher and will soon start his professional teaching journey. Knowing his dedication and passion for public service, youth development, and volunteerism, we are optimistic about the kind of educator he will be to the younger generation — young, bold, and caring. Hopefully, he will educate more youth to have the same dedication and passion as him.
https://actionagainsthunger.ph/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/PH_A1BX_2022_Donna-Ocmeja_TY-Odette_ProtectionStory_Tagbilaran-Bohol-7-scaled.jpg17062560Adminhttps://actionagainsthunger.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/logo_text_orig_white-1.pngAdmin2022-08-26 09:08:452022-10-17 09:14:28Real Life Heroes: Leader in the Making
Al-King Dilangalen, one of our Project Assistants for the REACH 3 Project, shares how his love for helping others always prevails in times when being a humanitarian worker becomes difficult. This is one of the many reasons why he’s one of our Real Life Heroes.
Get to know Al-King and his inspiring take on being a humanitarian worker:
What is your role/or key responsibilities in Action Against Hunger?
I am currently one of the project assistants for the “Response to the unmet Humanitarian Needs of the most vulnerable populations in Mindanao affected by conflict, natural hazards, and COVID-19 pandemic” or REACH 3 Project.
My responsibility is to coordinate with community partners and leaders, especially the local government units in our covered areas, both in barangay and municipal level particularly on Health and Nutrition sector. We worked together with local and barangay health workers to conduct health missions, nutrition screenings for children and Pregnant and Lactating women, and conduct covid-19 vaccination campaigns to hard-to-reach areas affected by conflict and natural disasters.
How long have you been working as a humanitarian worker?
In the past 3 years, I have been working as a humanitarian worker, mainly in emergency response projects. I started my career when I had the chance to respond in earthquake affected areas in North Cotabato. Then after, I started working with Action Against Hunger under COVID-19 emergency WASH assistance project and REACH 2 Top-Up Emergency Response Project.
What motivates you to become a humanitarian worker?
Humanitarian work is nonetheless exceptional. Having been able to respond during crisis to communities affected by disasters or conflict and help them ease their burden is the main reason why I choose to be a humanitarian worker.
Why are you making this sacrifice?
We are living in a very critical times right now, and it doesn’t take much to trigger off another calamitous events. And I believe that it takes a good heart for a human being to commit itself for the good of humanity. Its not merely a sacrifice but rather a shared responsibility. When someone sees inequality and injustices, there should be no second thoughts about making actions. To me, I know that my commitment in serving the community is somewhat my great contribution in making this world free from poverty.
What have been your challenge in your work?
As an aid worker, people always recognize us for the courage and passion despite being in a risky situation. However, the truth is, we’re also vulnerable. Sometimes, we’re not only the responders but is some circumstances, we’ve also become the survivors. We position ourselves in many dangerous places. We brave through the floods, we travel in an insecure area, and our lives are at stake.
What motives you to keep doing your work even with these challenges?
There are moments when our body wants to rest but our heart would continue to go on. There is always this contradiction. They do not speak in unity especially when you see the need for aid. The heart usually prevails. The heart wins. And this is why I keep doing my job.
What are you most proud of?
Working in the humanitarian world allowed me to see how my values align with the real-world. I was able to balance realities, with a sense of adventure, meet people, and have new experiences. This is the work culture that I’ll always be proud of.
Humanitarian organizations will be launching a photo exhibit in Siargao next week to raise awareness about the impact of Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) and the concerted efforts of residents and various groups in rebuilding the affected communities.
The photo exhibition dubbed “The Last Mile,” which will open on August 15, 6 p.m. at the Siago Beach Resort in General Luna, Siargao Island, just a few days before the commemoration of the World Humanitarian Day (August 19).
The event is organized by non-government organizations and local government units working on the Typhoon Odette Response. The aim of the event is to urge the national government and other stakeholders to not forget those most vulnerable in times of disaster.
It will feature almost a hundred images captured by organizations who implemented the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (EU-ECHO)-supported emergency response for the survivors of Typhoon Odette: ACCORD, Action Against Hunger, Care Philippines, Humanity & Inclusion, Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS) Inc., National Rural Women’s Coalition, Oxfam Pilipinas, Plan International, Save the Children Philippines, and Sentro para sa Ikauunlad ng Katutubong Agham at Teknolohiya (SIKAT) Inc.
European Union (EU) Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Veron will be giving a message at the opening event of the exhibit, followed by presentations by the participating organizations.
“We want to showcase these powerful images to show just how devastating typhoons are to marginalized and remote communities in the Philippines. We also want to show what we can do together to save lives and reduce the risks and impacts of disasters,” said Oxfam Pilipinas Country Director Lot Felizco.
“With climate change, we expect more intense typhoons to hit the Philippines. We hope the exhibit will also give people hope that something can be done and is being done to strengthen our communities against future disasters and to help them recover from Typhoon Odette,” she added.
CARE Philippines Country Director David Gazashvili said the exhibit will also show the achievements and challenges that residents and humanitarian organizations face eight months after the devastation of Typhoon Odette.
“The exhibit shows how the quick and substantial funding from the EU-ECHO, the power of communities, women and men, boys and girls working together and collaborating with humanitarian actors have effectively addressed urgent humanitarian needs, especially of those who need the most assistance. But it also brings to the surface the challenges of prioritizing disaster-preparedness, risk reduction, and climate change mitigation and adaption,” he added.
EU-ECHO’s funding of the Typhoon Odette emergency response has enabled the provision of emergency services to almost half a million individuals in Bohol, Cebu, Dinagat Islands, Southern Leyte, Negros Occidental, Palawan, and Surigao del Norte through the implementation of two consortia: one led by CARE, with ACCORD Inc., National Rural Women’s Coalition, Plan International, and Action Against Hunger; and another led by Oxfam Pilipinas and jointly implemented by Save the Children and Humanity & Inclusion (HI), together with local partners SIKAT Inc. and IDEALS Inc.
The joint efforts of the groups resulted in the distribution of food and livelihood assistance to 70,643 individuals; water, sanitation and hygiene packs for 75,394; protection assistance for 147,549; shelter provision for 72,902; health services for 68,317; and “education in emergency” assistance for 41,205.
Besides attending the photo exhibit, the EU ambassador will also be visiting Pilar in Siargao Island to observe EU-ECHO-funded activities such as the “Education in Emergency” component of the project in Caridad Elementary School. As part of the Typhoon Odette Emergency Response, the school’s teachers received training, supplies and a multi-purpose learning space where “return to learning” sessions are being held. The consortium also assisted in the construction of the multi-learning space and the repair of the damaged classrooms, which will also be turned over next week
For the coming months, the groups will continue to provide the same support for the most affected communities in Bohol, Cebu, Dinagat Islands, Southern Leyte, Negros Occidental, Palawan, and Surigao del Norte.
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A family’s livelihood is a means of securing necessities in life. During disasters and humanitarian emergencies, livelihood is one of the most affected areas, thus affecting families. Almost five months after Typhoon Odette, families in Siargao are still trying to bring theirs back.
Before the storm
The community relies on agricultural produce. Leah’s husband, Julito, asks for coconut shells from copra owners to make charcoal since they do not own a farm. He then sells the charcoal and brings 800 to 1,000-peso income a day. Sometimes, they only have 300 pesos when raw materials are scarce.
After spending on food and other necessities, Leah would use the spare as capital to buy goods for their small sari-sari store.
In photo: Leah fills her basket with goods after receiving the cash assistance (Photo by Aliana Gene Sarmiento for Action Against Hunger)
Losing two birds with one disaster
When the area was placed under Typhoon Signal No. 3 last December 14, the family evacuated to a nearby school and left their house and store for hours in fear for their lives.
Leah and her husband came back three days after to find their store toppled and the goods buried in the mud. Leah said her heart sank at the sight of it. She burrowed through the debris to save the undamaged products just so she could still have items to sell.
Her husband however was left jobless after Odette had wiped away hectares of the coconut farms.
“Akong taglig-on ang akong kaugalingon.”
“I try to remain strong,” says Leah Compra-Navales, after their family survived Typhoon Odette. Makabangon-bangon na man ginagmay. “We are coping up, slowly,” she added even though they have lost their livelihood to the typhoon.
Restoring the local economy as a community
Leah’s family is among the 52 households from Barangay Libertad in the municipality of Sta. Monica that received cash assistance for livelihood restoration. Action Against Hunger’s Typhoon Odette Emergency Response in Caraga gave 10,150 pesos for each affected household in Siargao alone. This is done through the funding of the United States Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID-BHA) and support from our consortium partners. The assistance under the Emergency Recovery Market System (ERMS) component aims to assist households to re-establish their livelihoods and restore the local economy.
Along with others affected within the community of Libertad, they also received non-food items, hygiene kits, and cash assistance of 5,150 pesos per household for food supplies from Action Against Hunger previous USAID-funded activities.
In photo: Leah receives the cash assistance during the ERMS payout. (Photo by Aliana Gene Sarmiento for Action Against Hunger)
A step closer to livelihood recovery
After receiving ERMS cash assistance, Leah immediately used the money to purchase goods from a local general merchandise store. She filled her baskets with canned goods, sugar, condiments, laundry soap, and more products they could sell. She then filled the display racks in their store with more goods.
In photo: Leah fills her basket with goods after receiving the cash assistance (Photo by Aliana Gene Sarmiento for Action Against Hunger)
Leah said that with the capital they can earn a small steady income every day, and they will not worry about food in the meantime. She is thankful for the opportunity to restart their small business through the help of Action Against Hunger and other organizations.
In photo: Leah’s daughter sits in front of their freshly-stocked store. (Photo by Aliana Gene Sarmiento for Action Against Hunger)
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“I want to be a doctor so that I can help people who are victims of disasters,” said 11-year-old Marilou “Monique” Consigna.
Seeing in her own eyes how Typhoon Odette swept her community in Barangay Sta. Paz in San Isidro, Siargao, Monique wants to inspire and influence others so that future generations of children will make a difference.
Monique is 11 years old and currently studying 5th grade in Sta. Paz Elementary School in the Municipality of San Isidro. Her father died last January of 2022 due to sickness, and her mother which is a day care teacher, is now the sole provider for their family. She has six siblings, three of whom have already started their own families.
In the midst of the typhoon, her family evacuated to her sister’s house on the other side of Brgy. Sta Paz. Because of the severe gusts and heavy downpour, they were terrified, appalled and sobbing. For them, it felt like the end of the world at the time. She realized at that point that she was still a child who wants to live life to the fullest. She stills wants to play like any other children and her life should not end there. When they returned home, they were devastated to see that their home had been completely wrecked by the fallen coconut trees and some of parts of their roofing were removed. Despite of what happened, she is still thankful that all their family members were safe and that they were still alive.
She promised to herself that she will work hard in her studies, she particularly enjoys studying English.
Someday, she wants to help her family and community. She wants to be a doctor so that she may aid catastrophe victims. She will use her life to inspire and influence others so that future generations of children will make a difference.
With the support of UNICEF Philippines, Monique’s family was one of the typhoon-affected families who received access to safe water through emergency WASH kits.
Our Super Typhoon Emergency WASH Response in CARAGA is funded by the United Nations Central Emergency Fund (UN CERF), the Republic of Korea, and the Government of Japan through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Philippines. Read more
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“I still remember how hard the wind and rain were that night. The children were crying out of fear.”
These were the words of 34-year-old Geraldine Quire-Quire as she recalls their night at the evacuation center when Typhoon Odette (internationally named Rai) made landfall in Siargao on the 16th of December 2021. As a mother, her family’s safety is her top priority.
Already pregnant with their third child, Geraldine had to take care of their two children and her disabled aunt by herself in the wake of Odette’s rampage. Geraldine’s husband was away in the city working as a watchman at the time.
The intensity of the typhoon was a horrific experience for the children, according to her. To make matters worse, they went home to find that the typhoon had partially damaged their house.
Months later, Geraldine finds some comfort in the life-saving support they received different organizations and government agencies. They are one of the families in Barangay Opong in Taganaan, Surigao del Norte who received water, sanitation, & hygiene materials from UNICEF Philippines through Action Against Hunger’s Super Typhoon Emergency WASH Response in Caraga. According to Geraldine, some of the items will prove to be useful when she gives birth.
Geraldine also participated in the hygiene promotion sessions of Action Against Hunger. After hearing reminders on COVID safety and how to practice proper hygiene and sanitation, she was eager to teach her children these hygiene habits.
In photo: Geraldine teaches her eldest daughter how to properly wash hands with soap and water based on what she learned from Action Against Hunger’s hygiene promotion sessions. (Photos by Abdul Alim Talusob for Action Against Hunger)
As of July 18, we have reached 81,957 people in Surigao del Norte with life-saving WASH support. Aside from giving access to safe water and sanitation services, our goal is to ensure that families like Geraldine’s adopt and sustain proper hygiene practices.
Our Super Typhoon Odette Emergency WASH Response in CARAGA is funded by the United Nations Central Emergency Fund (UN CERF), the Republic of Korea, and the Government of Japan through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Philippines
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GENERAL LUNA, SIARGAO — Jomel Flores, 31 years old, a member of the LGBT community, and her family were among the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who were severely impacted by Typhoon Odette’s fury in the islands of Siargao last December 2021. According to her, it was the most horrifying and distressing experience she’s ever had so far in her life.
Rai made its landfall on December 16, 2021 bringing torrential rains, violent winds, floods and storm surges. Jomel and her family took refuge at Anajawan Elementary School in the Municipality of General Luna. They had been warned that the typhoon would be powerful, but when it came, it was significantly more powerful than the locals had anticipated. They were astonished, scared, and afraid when the wind began to blow erratically, pelting them with heavy showers. During that time, children and adults were screaming and crying and all she could do at that second was to pray harder that it will come to pass.
Their experience in the evacuation facility was really difficult, she says. With COVID-19 still a threat, it worried her that there was no social distancing, and they could only use one comfort room.
After spending three days at the evacuation center, they returned home only to find out that their house had been partially destroyed, with some of their roof gone, causing their personal belongings to become damp and damaged. This rendered Jomel speechless and all she could think at that moment was to cry. Despite the fact that it was the saddest and most agonizing event she had ever had, she was still thankful that all of her family members were safe and alive. “That was the most important thing, material stuffs may be replaced, but life will never be replaced,” she says.
It’s been months since Typhoon Odette, but Jomel still sheds tears every time she remember the horrific experience they went through. Despite being one of the most frightening experiences they’ve had, Jomel is thankful that all of their family members are alive and safe. “That’s the most important thing. Material stuff come and go, but one’s life can never be replaced,” she says
Her hope for the future is to become financially stable and to open a large ihaw-ihaw (barbecue) store to support her family. She also wants to make a modest contribution to her community by offering inexpensive healthy meals. She aspires to be the change she wishes to see in the world.
The Flores family is among the thousands of affected families in Surigao del Norte who were given life-saving water, sanitation, & hygiene support immediately after Typhoon Odette made landfall on December 16.
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“Alam ko kasi yung hirap sa tubig dito sa amin. Lalo na ngayong bumagyo, hindi kami siguradong malinis yung tubig mula sa balon…Ginagawa ko ito ‘di lang para sa pamilya ko, kundi para sa buong baryo namin dahil alam ko yung hirap namin sa tubig rito.”
I know how difficult the water situation is in our area. Especially after the typhoon, we’re not sure if the water from the deep well is clean. I [volunteer] not only for my family but also for our whole village because I know how hard it is for us to get water here.) – Daisy A. Jumandos, Monitoring Volunteer, 39 years old and resident of Barangay Magsaysay, General Luna, (Siargao Islands, Surigao del Norte)
Daisy Jumandos and her family were one of the residents of Barangay Magsaysay, General Luna in the islands of Siargao caught in the eye of Super Typhoon Odette when it made landfall on December 16, 2021.
In photo: Daisy Jumandos | Photo by Adam Daniel Lacson for Action Against Hunger (2022 March 03, Surigao del Norte, Philippines)
According to 39-year-old, their family received news of an incoming storm, but were clueless of its strength and magnitude. Daisy shared the horror that she, her husband, and their three children had endured after being trapped in their home when Odette was at its strongest. “Hindi na kami nakapaghanda o nakatakbo. Biglaang dumilim yung buong paligid na hindi na namin makita kahit ang mga kapitbahay. Napakalakas ng hangin kaya di na rin kami nakalabas ng bahay. Nagsiliparan ang bubong namin.’ (We could no longer prepare for it nor evacuate. It suddenly became dark outside, so much so that we couldn’t even see the neighbors. The wind was so strong that we could not get out of the house. Our roof flew off.)”
According to her, they thought that they weren’t going to make it out alive. “Sabi ng panganay ko, ‘Ma! Kalian kalian ba ito titigil? Nag-iiyakan na kami at akala namin ay heto na ang katapusan namin. (My eldest [child] said, ‘mom, when will this stop? We were crying and we thought it was the end of us.),” Daisy added.
After Odette, the situation of the Jumandos family, like many others affected, was bleak. “We endured [our situation] for a while,” she explained. Their family already did not have a regular source of income since the pandemic. So, when they needed to prioritize saving up for house repairs—distilled water or octane for cooking became necessities that they could no longer afford.
“I know how difficult the water situation is in our area. Especially after the typhoon, we are not sure if the water from the deep well is clean… It is important for me to have clean water here in the community, that is what drives me to handle the water situation here. I am proud that I was chosen as a volunteer because I want to do something for our community,”
As one of the parent-leaders in their barangay, Daisy volunteered to help monitor the water bladders. “Alam ko kasi yung hirap sa tubig dito sa amin. Lalo na ngayong bumagyo, hindi kami siguradong malinis yung tubig mula sa balon… (I know how difficult the water situation is in our area. Especially after the typhoon, we are not sure if the water from the deep well is clean,)” were Daisy’s sentiments.
Photo by Arjay Gaylon for Action Against Hunger
She further shared about her motivation and how she takes pride in her volunteer work, saying “importante kasi sa akin na may malinis na tubig kami rito sa baryo, iyon nagtutulak sa akin na alagaan yung tubigan rito. Proud rin ako na napili ako bilang volunteer dahil gusto kong may nagagawa ako para sa community namin. (It is important for me to have clean water here in the community, that is what drives me to handle the water situation here. I am proud that I was chosen as a volunteer because I want to do something for our community.)”
“My family offers support in other tasks. For example, if I have chores at home, the children will help manage [the water bladders],”
Daisy also breaks the bias on gender roles as she takes on and delegates different tasks both inside and outside their home. She shared that after Typhoon Odette, she has been hands-on in repairing their house. She mixes cement and helps in carrying the materials needed for their repairs. When asked if she finds it challenging, she said that, “kaagapay ko ang pamilya ko sa mga gawain. Halimbawa, kung mag ginagawa ako sa bahay, tumutulong mga anak ko sa pag-asikaso sa tubigan. Hindi naman it istorbo dahil alam kong para sa aming lahat ito eh. (My family offers support in other tasks. For example, if I have chores at home, the children will help manage [the water bladders].”
For Daisy, gender equality in the household can be achieved when men, women, boys, and girls can truly communicate and understand each other. In any aspect of decision-making in their lives, Daisy shares that it is important to discuss and share opinions openly, as well as have equal voices when it comes to making plans. It is a sign of mutual respect.
In photo: Daisy Jumandos | Photo by Adam Daniel Lacson for Action Against Hunger (2022 March 03, Surigao del Norte, Philippines)
Not only motivated by her family, Daisy also shares she gets inspiration from her neighbors. “Ginagawa ko ito ‘di lang para sa pamilya ko, kundi para sa buong baryo namin dahil alam ko yung hirap namin sa tubig rito. (I [volunteer] not only for my family but also for our whole village because I know how hard it is for us to get water here),” she added.
Around 650 people in Barangay Magsaysay are now able to access potable water for free through the newly installed water bladders.
https://actionagainsthunger.ph/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/UNICEF_AAH_2022-0303_Adam-Lacson_Jumandos-Interview_Magsaysay-Siargao-1-scaled.jpg19202560Adminhttps://actionagainsthunger.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/logo_text_orig_white-1.pngAdmin2022-05-27 04:47:432022-05-27 04:50:57STORIES FROM THE FIELD: Breaking bias in times of emergencies
Super Typhoon Odette (internationally named Rai) left thousands of families in Caraga with limited access to clean water and proper hygiene facilities last December 2021. So much so that open defecation has grown rampant in some communities due to the lack of available latrines.
Together with UNICEF, we have been inspiring and teaching communities the value of good hygiene in keeping children and families healthy during times of calamities.
In photo: WASH Project Staff and community health volunteers review the proper handwashing technique through demonstration in the Municipality of Del Carmen. | Photos by Benjie Montilla, Adam Daniel Lacson, Victoria Valderama and Abdul-Alim Talusob for Action Against Hunger (2022 March 18, Surigao del Norte, Philippines)
From March 15 to 18, community health volunteers and rural sanitary inspectors from all 32 barangays of the municipalities of General Luna, Burgos, San Benito and Del Carmen in the Siargao Islands took part in the water, sanitation, & hygiene (WASH) training organized by Action Against Hunger through the support of the UNICEF and UN CERF.
“This re-orientation regarding sanitation can help prevent the spread of diseases since some of the people have been practicing open defecation,” said one of the participants. According to them, it has been a while since they started new activities about educating their neighborhood.
In photo: WASH Engineer explains and demonstrates the water quality testing activities of Action Against Hunger to selected Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) from the Municipality of Gen. Luna. | Photos by Benjie Montilla, Adam Daniel Lacson, Victoria Valderama and Abdul-Alim Talusob for Action Against Hunger (2022 March 15, Surigao del Norte, Philippines)
The participants shared what they know about water contamination and water-borne diseases, all while talking about the importance of sanitation, and common hygiene practices.
Team members of our Super Typhoon Odette WASH Emergency Response proceeded to discuss in more detail the topics concerning water quality testing, community-applicable methods to purify and store water, dangers of fecal-oral transmission, and proper hygiene techniques. Additional discussions on preventing COVID-19 were also conducted. The communities were also given tips on conducting education sessions, and new methods to pique the community members’ interest.
In photo: Training participants planned and presented their Activity Plans regarding WASH education sessions in Mun. of Del Carmen. | Photos by Benjie Montilla, Adam Daniel Lacson, Victoria Velderama and Abdul-Alim Talusob for Action Against Hunger (2022 March 18, Surigao del Norte, Philippines)
Most of the invited barangay participants have identified misconceptions regarding water quality and the use of water purifiers. Others focused on household methods to purify water, even during emergency situations. Initially, their health promotions focused community-led discussions to reduce open defecation, as well as methods to reduce cases of schistosomiasis, better waste management to reduce dengue, and hygiene promotion targeting the youth and lactating mothers.
At the end of the training, each barangay created their own WASH-related activity plan that they could implement and share in their own communities. Each activity contains topics from the discussion, but they were given the leeway to discuss topics that concern their respective areas.
By building the capacities of our local partners in health and WASH, we are hoping to reach around 3,500 people through the education activities of the health volunteers in General Luna alone.
Photos by Benjie Montilla, Adam Daniel Lacson, Victoria Valderama and Abdul-Alim Talusob for Action Against Hunger
https://actionagainsthunger.ph/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/UNICEF_AAH_2022-0317_Adam-Lacson_WASH-Training-CHVs_Siargao-14-scaled.jpg16952560Adminhttps://actionagainsthunger.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/logo_text_orig_white-1.pngAdmin2022-05-17 06:08:542022-05-27 04:34:38For cleaner and healthier communities: UNICEF and Action Against Hunger train volunteers on hygiene and health
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