Stories of resilience from Yolanda survivors

World Vision supports survivors like Aileen by offering dressmaking training and sewing machines to start their own businesses.

Ten years ago, Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) devastated the Philippines in November 2013. Now, Aileen and her community of World Vision livelihood beneficiaries in Leyte are back on their feet.

“With the help of donors and supporters in the country and abroad, World Vision was able to provide aid to more than 1.6 million people from 2013-2019,” said Rommel Fuerte, World Vision’s Executive Director.

World Vision provided food, shelter, livelihood, health and nutrition, disaster preparedness, and educational assistance during its relief, recovery, and rehabilitation phase.

Aside from providing them with their essential needs, World Vision extended help to ensure that they have the means to survive and thrive.

Aileen and other survivors underwent dressmaking training and received sewing machines to kickstart their business.

“I’m now earning income and able to help my husband with our daily expenses,” Aileen said.

She also joined the organization’s community savings group, raising money to fund a family house she thought was impossible.

“We were renting for 13 years. But I saved and persevered. Now we have our own house,” she said.

The World Vision also introduced the Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) to another community where farming was the main livelihood.

CSA is an approach that guides farmers in managing their crops through sustainable methods to help them adapt to climate change.

Lanie, one of the trainees, said, “That was helpful for me because I learned about plants that help absorb water and plants that provide shade to other crops. We also learned different concoctions—organic pesticides and organic foliar.” Their demo farm now produces organic eggplants, string beans and other vegetables

For Andro Culasi, a town official, learning about the importance of disaster preparedness promoted a stronger sense of community and security.

“There’s been a big change in our community after Super Typhoon Yolanda. We now have a public address system in designated areas. Before the typhoon, we didn’t have that. We used to inform people through text messages,” he said.

They conduct regular disaster-related drills that involve everyone, including students, in coordination with schools. They have also built a small evacuation center for families living in flood-prone areas.

The community’s Risk Reduction and Management Committee became more active, providing training on first aid and basic life support. “I could say we are better prepared now than before,” he said.

Aileen, Lanie, and Andro are just a few of the people that World Vision has assisted and whose lives and communities are thriving ten years after Super Typhoon Yolanda.

“We have gone a long way in ensuring that we continue to innovate our humanitarian response, collaborate with partners, and help build resilient communities where children thrive and live full lives,” said Fuerte.

“Thank you, and we are grateful to be your trusted partner in humanitarian response, disaster risk reduction, and climate action,” he added.

For donations and updates, visit the World Vision website at https://www.worldvision.org.ph and follow World Vision Philippines’ official social media pages: @worldvisionph on Facebook and Twitter, and @worldvisionphl on Instagram.

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About World Vision

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves everyone regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.worldvision.org.ph.

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