HOME

NEWS

CHARITIES

VOLUNTEER

ACTION CENTER

ADD CHARITY

CONTACT

SUPPORT

World Environment Community Health Animals Celebrity Submit A Site Find A Charity
In post-flood Philippines, UNICEF provides crucial help on the ground

By Philippa Day, UNICEF-press release

862 days ago   Article ID# 1510611
Original URL

 

United Nations Children's Fund

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (UNICEF-press release) - Twelve-year-old Hannah Monsalan lives in Mandulog, one of the villages worst-hit by the flash floods that swept through northern Mindanao in December, following Tropical Storm Washi. The equivalent of one month’s rain fell overnight, swelling the Mandulog river to a destructive torrent, which crushed hundreds of families’ homes.

Hannah’s own small home was picked up by the swirling floodwaters and smashed into a large coconut tree. She survived by clinging to a small tree until she could be rescued. “I was swimming and I was screaming. And then I could no longer find my mother,” she said. “My hair got stuck in a pile of wood, and I was suddenly under water. I thought it was the end for me. Then I swam for safety.”

Her mother did not make it.

And in the wake of the disaster, her entire community was left vulnerable, surrounded by stagnant water and threatened by waterborne diseases. Many families were without shelter, and many children were burdened by their memories of the floods.

Keeping children safe in disaster’s aftermath

In the aftermath of disasters, UNICEF’s top priority is to help vulnerable children recover as quickly as possible. UNICEF provided water and hygiene kits for the families living in evacuation centres, including water filters so they could collect and safely drink rain water. This has helped to prevent outbreaks of waterborne diseases.

Rosa Serenuela, who is responsible for counting and distributing all the relief supplies coming into Mandulog, said, “Here in our barangay, we received 849 personal hygiene kits from UNICEF. We also received 12 portalets, 4 are now in Upat and Tubaran Elementary School, 4 at the evacuation centre and another 4 in Mandulog Elementary School…UNICEF’s assistance helped us a lot.”

UNICEF is also conducting screenings for child malnutrition, distributing micronutrient powders and Vitamin A supplements, and counselling parents on how best to feed their children. Children with severe acute malnutrition are referred to partners for treatment, with many receiving UNICEF-provided ready-to-use therapeutic foods. A measles vaccination campaign is also under way.

Protecting children from abuse, exploitation or trafficking is also a key part of UNICEF’s work. In northern Mindanao, UNICEF is helping the government identify, trace and reunite separated or unaccompanied children with their families, and is providing follow-up care to ensure their safety and well-being.

But the availability of adequate shelter remains a challenge, and the past few weeks have seen an increase in violence in the displacement camps in northern Mindanao, including gender-based violence. Relief groups are working to increase security and protection services in these areas.

Schools offer vital services

Hannah’s school, Mandulog Elementary, was completely washed away in the disaster. Elsa Abdul, her teacher, said that many students were reluctant to begin classes held at three UNICEF-provided tents. Before the January resumption of classes, Ms. Abdul and her fellow teachers went around the community, speaking to families about the school bags, supplies, sanitation facilities, safe water, and free hot meals that would be provided by UNICEF – incentives to return to class.

“One of the main reasons our students came back to school was because of UNICEF’s support,” she said. More than 50 per cent of the school’s students turned up at school on the first day of class, with many more returning over the following days.

Teachers were coached on incorporating psychosocial support into classroom activities. “I’m trying to help Hannah and my other students with their psychosocial recovery by asking them to write about their experiences,” Ms. Abdul said.

UNICEF has also set up child-friendly spaces in flood-affected areas. In these spaces, trained volunteers help children recover through structured play, art therapy and storytelling. UNICEF has provided 10 tarpaulin mats and 17 Child-Friendly Spaces kits for these activities in Mandulog.

Looking forward

UNICEF is also working to strengthen the local ability to survive future disasters. UNICEF specialist Nonoy Fajardo said, “UNICEF is also working with national government agencies and local government units in the Philippines to help them prepare to better respond to emergencies, as well as to prevent and mitigate future disasters.”

Hannah hopes these efforts will help her long-term recovery. “I want to finish school even though we no longer have a house,” she said.

Ms. Abdul is optimistic about her prospects. “Hannah is one of the top students in my class. She comes to school every day and always works very hard,” Ms. Abdul said. “I’m searching for a scholarship for her so that she can go to high school.”

Copyright 2014 UNICEF-press release   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 862 days ago   Article ID# 1510611

United Nations Children's Fund    View Charity Profile    Visit Website

More Unite For Children News

UAE leading fight against malnutrition among refugee children

2 days ago From The National  

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - The UAE is donating US$7 million (Dh25.7m) to Unicef to screen refugee Syrian children for malnutrition. The United Nations Children's Fund says ...

UNICEF praises Hasina

8 days ago From bdnews24.com 

DHAKA, BANGLADESH - On Friday, July 25, at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club, the Desert AIDS Project will be celebrating its three decades with its annual Mid-Summer Dance ...

UNICEF and EU improve access to safe water for 800,000 people in Bangui

21 days ago From UNICEF-press release 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - BANGUI, Central African Republic, 1 July 2014—The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection Department (ECHO) and UNICEF ...

Procter & Gamble Sponsors UNICEF Effort To Save Babies In 25 Developing Countries

21 days ago From Forbes  

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - Every year 58,000 babies die from maternal and neonatal tetanus or MNT, all in the developing world. UNICEF, with support from Procter and ...

One month on, UNICEF calls for immediate and safe return of abducted school boys in Syria

21 days ago From UNICEF-press release 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AMMAN, 1 July 2014 – “UNICEF is following with grave concern the situation of some 140 Kurdish schoolboys between 14 and 16 years old who were ...

Go to page:   1    2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  Next >> 

<< Return To World News

Action Center

New Zealand’s 'dramatic' ice loss could lead to severe decline of glaciers

Action: Climate Change

New Zealand’s vast Southern Alps mountain range has lost a third of its permanent snow and ice over the past four decades, di ...

Give Kenai Brown Bears a True Refuge

Action: Wildlife Conservation

The isolated population of brown bears on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula is in trouble. Just last year alone, 18 percent of the adu ...

Palm oil company clears rainforest in New Guinea

Action: Stop Deforestation

An Indonesian Stock Exchange-listed company whose commissioner is a member of The Nature Conservancy-Indonesia's board has be ...

Hercules begins clean-up of contaminants along southern, eastern boundaries

Action: Stop Pollution

Hercules, Inc. has begun a clean-up of on and off-site contamination that the Environmental Protection Agency said will prote ...

30 new Marine Protected Areas for Scotland

Action: Save Our Oceans

The Scottish Government have announced they have given the go-ahead for 30 more Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), to protect a f ...

View All Actions >>

 

 

Charities

News

Follow Us

Support

Find A Charity

Action Center

World

Community

Facebook

Twitter Support

Contact

Volunteer

Add A Site

Environment

Animals

Google+

Privacy Policy

Copyright

 

 

Health

Celebrity

Terms of Service

Copyright © The Charity Vault All rights reserved.