November 11 2013

Philippines children need food water & shelter NOW!

SOS Children's Villages emergency teams in the Philippines are currently responding to the needs of children and families across the country in places like Tacloban. Here, residents at the SOS Children’s Village have witnessed massive devastation following their desperate attempts to seek shelter from Typhoon Haiyan, following  wind gusts of up to 375 km per hour last Friday.

SOS Children's Villages appeal to help children and families in the Philippines © Reuters/Eirk DeCastro

“Buildings, including our children’s village have been greatly damaged and the storm surge caused water to rise to 15 feet (4.5m) - flooding in the city,” said ”Tacloban Village Director Oscar Garol. “Around 150 people mostly children were safely situated on the rooftops of the family houses. The surroundings are in a ravaged state. Mud all over the place. Unidentified dead bodies could be seen”. Like Noah’s ark, is how Emily Torculas described the scene at SOS Children’s Village Calbayog, near Samar, following Friday’s typhoon that has devastated much of the country

Appeal to support desperate families and displaced children
There is particular concern for the wellbeing of 110 families in the city who are supported by the SOS Family Strengthening Programme. They were vulnerable before the storm hit. Those who have survived the typhoon are now in dire need of food water and shelter. “On behalf of children and families we appeal to the public to donate now via the SOS Children's Villages association in their home country,” said Garol.
It is estimated that at least half a million people have been displaced. The welfare of children who have been displaced and separated from their families is of greatest concern to the SOS Children’s Villages Philippines emergency team. Its highly effective response to Asia’s tsunami in 2004 ensured hundreds of families were spared undue suffering. Current information suggests that almost four and a half million people are now in need of assistance.

Over recent days SOS Children's Villages has provided families with food and shelter in Tacloban and other areas. Co-workers across the country are pooling resources to supporting affected communities across a total of eleven SOS Social Centres and eight SOS Children’s Villages. SOS Children’s Villages has been active in the Philippines since 1967.