ChildFund provides Filipino children with a place to play
With the support of our Project Humanity partners, ChildFund Australia is contributing to the relief effort in the Philippines, following the flash flooding and resulting devastation caused by Typhoon Washi.
Tragically, the storm has claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people, many are still missing, and over 40,000 children and families have fled their homes to wait in evacuation centres. Currently there are no reports of casualties from ChildFund-assisted communities, but many families have lost their belongings and their homes have been severely damaged.
The government of the Philippines is providing support through its military personnel, and ChildFund is providing emergency relief to 2,000 children and families in Cagayan de Oro, one of the worst-hit areas. This includes the distribution of bottled water, food items, hygiene kits and medical supplies.
Child-centred spaces have also been established by ChildFund in the evacuation centres, recognising that children in emergencies need a safe space in which to play and re-establish a sense of normalcy. John, a 13-year-old staying at a shelter, says: “It was so frightening. First, the water was at knee level. It then rose very quickly to my waist and then neck level. I almost drowned. Good that my father was able to get hold of me.”
Mark Anthony Dasco, ChildFund Philippines acting country director, says: “Child-centered spaces provide psychosocial support for children who have been affected by emergencies. They also provide a safe, physical space for children to gather in an unstable environment.” At the spaces, ChildFund is also able to monitor the health and wellbeing of children, and provide additional health support where necessary.
Over the longer term, ChildFund will work in partnership with communities to restore their livelihoods, particularly families dependent on agricultural and fishing activities which have been severely impacted by the flooding.