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Stories from the Field: Keeping faith in helping others despite Typhoon Odette’s impact

“In health, we need to be on duty, even if we ourselves are affected. Be strong. We go to the evacuation centers, even though we do not know what has happened to our homes.”Dr. Ivy Padernal, Municipal Health Officer | Municipality of Mabini
Patients from devastated health stations from San Miguel swarm the San Roque Health center— the main health center in the municipality. After being destroyed by Typhoon Odette, it is crucial to repair and add more health stations to serve the community.
Prior to the disaster, Dr. Ivy visits the health center once a week to conduct check-ups. The center caters to more than ten barangays. After Typhoon Odette, residents had to do their health consultations at the rural health office which was a long commute for many.
With the support of the European Union Humanitarian Aid, our Typhoon Odette Response in Bohol was able to rehabilitate health facilities such as the San Roque Health Center.

The Immediate and Comprehensive Response for Communities Affected by Typhoon Rai (Odette) is funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and jointly implemented by CARE Philippines, ACCORD Incorporated, Action Against Hunger Philippines, National Rural Women Coalition (PKKK) and Plan International in Dinagat Islands, Palawan, Southern Leyte, Bohol, Negros Occidental, and Cebu, in the Philippines.

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Stories from the Field: Hope in the aftermath of Typhoon Odette

41-year-old Lorelei still breaks down into tears every time she recalls the day Typhoon Odette made landfall. She vividly remembers the fear that she and her family experienced. Not to mention, they had to face the fact that the typhoon had left their home damaged and their livelihood affected.
 

With the support of the European Union Humanitarian Aid, our Typhoon Odette Response in Bohol was able to provide short-term livelihood recovery programs to families like Lorelei’s.


The Immediate and Comprehensive Response for Communities Affected by Typhoon Rai (Odette) is funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and jointly implemented by CARE Philippines, ACCORD Incorporated, Action Against Hunger Philippines, National Rural Women Coalition (PKKK) and Plan International in Dinagat Islands, Palawan, Southern Leyte, Bohol, Negros Occidental, and Cebu, in the Philippines.

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PRESS RELEASE: Humanitarian organizations to launch Typhoon Odette photo exhibit in Siargao, highlight need of survivors

Press Release | August 13, 2022

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.


FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES AND COORDINATION:

Kristine Sabillo Guerrero | Senior Officer for Media and Digital Influencing, Oxfam Pilipinas
0917 569 1449

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Emergency Preparedness Helps Action Against Hunger Team Escape Mt. Apo Landslide

KIDAPAWAN CITY – Twelve (12) Action Against Hunger staff members were left stranded after a landslide had blocked a part of Mt. Apo Highway last July 16, 2021. The incident was reported to have occurred sometime in the morning after a series of heavy rainfall in the area.

No casualties were reported and the staff members managed to safely go over the landslide area before the Kidapawan City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) rescue vehicle arrived and assisted them back to the city proper. The staff members who experienced the ordeal were part of the MOVE UP 4 Project team in Kidapawan and visiting staff from Action Against Hunger Philippines’ Manila Head Office.

The teams were already on their way back in two separate vehicles after conducting field visits in Barangay Illomavis when they reached the roadblock caused by the landslide. Being the first to witness the scene and having no alternate routes going to the city proper, the stranded staff decided to go over the mound of debris by foot.

The landslide covered a portion of the road, making it impossible for vehicles to pass throigh.

Photo by Roger Cabiles, Jr. for Action Against Hunger

“[The situation] gave us an opportunity to reflect about humanitarian workers, that we are dispensable,” shared MOVE UP 4 Consortium Manager and Head of Project Roger Cabiles. Despite facing a predicament, the team remained calm and quickly followed emergency protocol. “Being careful is really important as well as assessing risks and hazards and knowing what to do if a disaster happens,” he added. Deputy Head of Project Lyndon Arbes then coordinated with Kidapawan CDRRMO Head Psalmer Bernalte, who facilitated the quick rescue response.

“[The situation] gave us an opportunity to reflect about humanitarian workers, that we are dispensable…Being careful is really important as well as assessing risks and hazards and knowing what to do if a disaster happens,” he added.

Photo courtesy of Kidapawan City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office

Clearing operations on the highway began immediately thereafter. According to Psalmer Bernalte, soil movements have gradually been covering portions of the highway two months earlier, prompting the city to conduct preventive measures against potential landslides.

For the MOVE UP 4 team, the experience further strengthened their commitment to work with partner LGUs and communities through disaster risk reduction, emergency response, and resilience building.

“These risks and hazards are normal to the communities we serve, and they experience it in their everyday lives… our work in building the resilience of our communities continues,” said Roger Cabiles.

Moving Urban Poor Communities Toward Resilience (MOVE UP 4) is funded by the European Union and implemented by a consortium of partners consisting of Action Against Hunger PhilippinesPlan International PhilippinesCARE Philippines, and ACCORD Incorporated.

 

Related stories:

Philippine News Agency – Int’l NGO workers narrowly escape Mt. Apo landslide
GMA News – 12 NGO employees na naipit sa landslide, nasagip


Written by Joyce Sandajan

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union, or the consortium members. Neither the European Union nor any of the consortium members can be held responsible for them.

Forming A Cash Savings Group (CSG) For Emergencies In Kidapawan City

One of the ways we empower women is through our livelihood programs. Across the communities we work with, we provide them with knowledge and proper tools to enable them to be financially resilient.

These women from Barangay Ilomavis in Kidapawan City are uniting their efforts in forming a cash savings group (CSG) for emergencies. Their barangay was one of the hardly affected barangays during the series of Mindanao Earthquakes back in 2019.

Photo by Louie Bullanday for Action Against Hunger

Following this, our MOVE UP 4 Project introduced these women to the CSG as one of the mechanisms to build financial independence and resilience for their households. Aside from the emergency funds they managed to save, they have also gained more confidence from being able to provide financial stability for their family during emergency situations like disasters or the pandemic.

We celebrate the success of these women and hope to empower more through the work that we do, one community at a time.

Written by Lyndon Arbes, Louie BullandayJoyce Sandajan
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union, or the consortium members. Neither the European Union nor any of the consortium members can be held responsible for them.

MOVE UP 4 joins Mindanao-wide Online Session about Response Strategy and Emergency Response

Mr. Lyndon Arbes (MOVE UP 4 DRR Officer) and Ms. Delilah Chua (Head of Cotabato Field Office) joined the Mindanao-wide 𝗧𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗸𝗮𝘆𝗮𝗻 𝗞𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗮 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵 via zoom as resource persons.
 
With the theme, “CSO-LGU Bayanihan: Mga Aksyon sa Kalukuyang Panahon,” the online session was organized by the RESOURCEGov Project in partnership with DILG XI, XII, and XIII, and the RTF-COVID19 & RIATF-EID XII. The activity supports the Listong Ugnayan, COVIUD-19 ay Labanan Online Talakayan Series rolled out by the DILG Philippines through the Local Government Academy (LGA).
 
During the session, Mr. Arbes and Ms. Chua shared Action Against Hunger’s COVID-Response Strategy and MOVE UP COVID Response activities implemented along with other consortium partners in the cities of Marawi, Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, Surigao, and the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Surigao, and Cotabato.

Moving Urban Poor Communities Toward Resilience (MOVE UP 4) is funded by the European Union and implemented by a consortium of partners consisting of Action Against Hunger PhilippinesPlan International PhilippinesCARE Philippines, and ACCORD Incorporated.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union, or the consortium members. Neither the European Union nor any of the consortium members can be held responsible for them.

A Series of Orientations for Disaster Preparedness and Resilience Building in Barangay Ilomavis, Kidapawan City

A series of orientations was conducted in Barangay Ilomavis, Kidapawan City last July 29 and 30, 2020. The participants were members of 64 vulnerable households who were displaced due to the November 2019 earthquake and are currently more at risk because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo by Lyndon Arbes for Action Against Hunger

The activity was launched to help raise awareness on the importance of disaster preparedness and resilience building, learning from the recent series of actual disasters and the effects of the pandemic that they experienced which had negatively affected their livelihoods and living condition. The activity was conducted in partnership with the City Government of Kidapawan City Agricultural Office, and the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation Office in Kidapawan City.

Photo by Lyndon Arbes for Action Against Hunger

Written by Joyce Sandajan
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union, or the consortium members. Neither the European Union nor any of the consortium members can be held responsible for them.

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Moving Urban Poor in Mindanao Towards Resilience (MOVE UP 4) Project in Kidapawan, North Cotabato

Our MOVE UP 4 Team conducted a household survey as part of the Community Risk Assessment (CRA) activity from July 20 – 31, 2021 in Kidapawan, North Cotabato. The survey aims to assess disaster awareness and preparedness, access to government social protection program,s and resilient livelihoods among others.

Photo by Lyndon Arbes / Louie Bullanday for Action Against Hunger

The information gathered will be used in designing appropriate urban DRR resilient intervention of the project in the city as well as will serve as the project baseline for impact evaluation at the end of the project.

Photo by Lyndon Arbes / Louie Bullanday for Action Against Hunger

 

Moving Urban Poor Communities Toward Resilience (MOVE UP 4) is funded by the European Union and implemented by a consortium of partners consisting of Action Against Hunger PhilippinesPlan International PhilippinesCARE Philippines, and ACCORD Incorporated.

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MOVE UP HEADSTRAINING FOR COMMUNITY LEADERS

QUEZON CITY – Resilience through Financial Freedom and Preparedness: The Moving Urban Poor Communities towards Resilience Project (MOVE UP) holds its Training of Trainers on Financial Literacy and Community Savings Groups, Torre Venezia, Quezon City, March 6-9, 2018. Attended by around 60 participants representing barangays from MOVE UP target cities Malabon, Quezon City, Valenzuela, Caloocan and Navotas, the training aims to boost the understanding and skills of target communities on financial planning, insurance and investments while linking it to disaster risk reduction and management.

As an outcome, a pool of trainers is formed to deliver financial literacy sessions and form community savings groups in barangays.

The training is one of the series of projects of MOVE UP which seeks to demonstrate systems and models of Alternative Temporary Shelter, resilient livelihoods and risk transfer modalities to improve the disaster risk reduction and management in MOVE UP target cities in Metro Manila. Funded by the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) under its Humanitarian Action Plan for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, MOVE UP is an urban disaster risk reduction project implemented by a consortium composed of Action Against Hunger Philippines, Plan International Philippines and CARE Nederland with its local partner, ACCORD Inc. ●

10 TUKLAS INNOVATIONS GET UNDERWAY IN MINDANAO

After a series of reviews done by the Tungo sa Kahandaan ng Pilipinas (TUKLAS) Innovation Lab, 40 out of 72 innovations were chosen for the final review. The final 40 and their ideas are now being supported as TUKLAS Innovators and Innovation Teams.

10 of these 40 innovations are now in the stage of developing its prototype in some Mindanao communities. These prototypes are: 1) DisP(ner) Bag, a weather-proof emergency bag that can be used for multiple purposes, such as a floater or tent; 2) Popularizing Indigenous Early Warning Systems, a system of documenting and popularizing indigenous knowledge on early warning for disaster risk reduction; 3) Bamboo River Embankment, a bamboo dike embankment to mitigate the impact of frequent flooding and soil erosion; 4) Matigam Kaw Iso: Mandaya Children’s Active Participation, an innovation on encouraging participation of children from hazard-prone, indigenous people communities in disaster risk management through a child-to-child approach; 5) Formulating Innovative Resiliency reduction program and manual; 6) Disaster Resiliency Fund, a community- managed, savings program for disaster preparedness activities of coastal communities; 7) People’s Initiative and Involvement in the Development of Technology (PINDOT), an offline mobile application for emergency reporting, and mapping of vulnerable families; 8) Promoting Cultural Innovation for Increased Resilience of Children, a facilitation of peace modules and cultural exchange to support the recovery of children affected by armed-conflict; 9) Growing Food, Saving Lives, use of urban gardening as an approach to community building and coping with post-disaster trauma among internally displaced persons from Marawi City; and 10) Early-Warning and Early Response Mechanisms for Armed-Conflict, a community-based mechanism to prevent and mitigate impact of armed-conflict and other human-induced disasters. In Filipino, ‘tuklas’ means ‘discover’, thus the TUKLAS Innovation Lab aims to identify innovative ideas and entrepreneurs across the country.

Hosted by Plan International and in partnership with Action Against Hunger, CARE, and the Citizens Disaster Response Centre (CDRC) which is a local civil society organization (CSO), TUKLAS has a collective experience of 174 years working from within the communities in the Philippines to improve emergency preparedness and response.

The TUKLAS Innovation Lab reaches out through networks of CSOs, community groups and leaders, businesses, academics, inventors and inspired youth to identify, test, and refine innovative ideas and methods to strengthen communities’ response and preparedness to disaster across the country, taking a bottom-up or user-centered approach to nurture, test, and scale promising models that will address gaps to improve emergency preparedness in the disaster prone country. ●