Latest news from the Philippines
When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, over six thousand lives were lost and over a million homes destroyed. Many children lost family members; many children were left homeless. But amidst the struggle to survive, World Vision was there to help in the immediate aftermath, assisting quickly with food, clean water and emergency shelters.
Now, six months later, World Vision is working hard with communities that were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. Children are being protected with safe places to learn and play. Homes, health clinics and schools are being rebuilt.
The next six months will be a critical time for those areas impacted by Typhoon Haiyan. With your continued help, Filipino children can have a brighter future as they rebuild their lives and rebuild their country.
Mai Zamora was one of the first on the scene after Typhoon Haiyan. She met Patrick, a 27-year-old man who had lost his wife and children in the storm, and feared them dead. Mai recently visited Tacloban again and was delighted to meet Patrick and his family, safe and well.
Patrick was separated from his family during Typhoon Haiyan. Thankfully they are alive and well!
In November, when Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, I met Patrick, a 27-year-old man begging for God’s mercy. He had lost his wife and children, and feared they may be among the many bodies case alongside the road to Tacloban.
He was hunched over on the debris littered ground sobbing as he told me how he’d been separated from his wife and children in the chaos of Typhoon Haiyan.
“I’ve been everywhere to look for my two children, my wife and my mother but I can’t find them,” he had told me while gasping in between sobs.
As I started to walk away, a little voice told me to pray for Patrick. We covered our hands on top of each other and prayed, in tears.
“Lord, I know what we gave him is not enough but please give him comfort and his family. Help him find his mother, wife and two little children,” I prayed.
I asked my friends and family to pray for Patrick as well. I kept praying for him. As time wore on, and the weeks unfolded from Haiyan, I started to think less about Patrick and his family.
But just last Sunday, almost three months ago after Typhoon Haiyan, I was asked to return to Tacloban.
As the plane landed, I felt goosebumps. The experience of walking through and over the debris and bodies two days after Typhoon Haiyan was vividly returning to me. I continued to work planning the visit, but the experience was never far from me.
The next day, eating lunch at a local restaurant, I saw a familiar face. It was Patrick, working there.
“By God’s grace, I found my family and they are safe. Our prayer was answered, Ma’am,” he said.
My heart sang. I was overjoyed.
I was trying to control my tears.
I was amazed and still overwhelmed at how God revealed how powerful He is.
“As soon as I found them, after five days of being hungry searching for them, I knelt down and raised my hands thanking God for answering our prayer. At that time, Ma’am, I was about to give up and gave myself another three days to look for them. I was just praying that in case I couldn’t find them that they would just be safe” Patrick told me in the restaurant.
I asked him where his family was now living and Patrick said, “We live in a World Vision covered area and my family received relief goods from World Vision. We are very thankful to receive them. I wouldn’t have known where to look for food for my children if World Vision hadn’t help us.”
I asked to visit his family: his wife Ana Rose and children CJ, four, and James Patrick, two. Ana Rose shared:
“We had been hungry for almost a week. Most of the time, for days after the typhoon, my neighbours would just share a plate of rice for the four of us but of course we couldn’t eat much because our priority was for our children. We didn’t care if we are hungry as long as our children were not.
“The good thing is World Vision came and gave us relief goods with 30 kgs of rice, sardines and kitchen utensils. They gave us blankets, mosquito nets and a tarpaulin that we use as our roof because our house was totally damaged by the strong winds during the Typhoon. We really didn’t know how we would have survived if World Vision didn’t help us. Thank you so much to all of you and to God for helping us to survive and for keeping our family complete.”
Tonight, hours after leaving Patrick’s home, I can feel God’s presence – even in the aftermath of the storm. Truly, God is real. God answers prayers and He never forsakes his children.
When storms like Typhoon Haiyan strike, what can be done for the people who've lost everything, even their means to make a living? Our CEO, Justin, finds out what your support has enabled World Vision to do for families like Jenny's.
We pray for the Philippines
Our prayer begins with a broken heart. After Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, every one of us at World Vision were heartbroken by what we saw and heard from our colleagues in the Philippines. But when hearts are broken we know that we can look to God for hope and healing.
Thank you for taking time to come and pray with us for those who have been impacted by Typhoon Haiyan. Together we pray for the Philippines, and as we pray we remember Jesus's words.
"If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven." (Matthew 21:22)
We have a dedicated prayer page - which includes a prayer video and prayer points - where you can take some time and space to pray for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
Bottles of hope
Thank you for your donations, prayers and support for those who have been impacted by Typhoon Haiyan.
We know there's still a lot to do and we need to keep raising funds to help the most vulnerable children. You have brought so much hope already, but you can still bring more hope - bottles of it! All you need is an empty water bottle, the World Vision Bottles of Hope pack and family and friends who want to help make a difference to those children in most need.
Of the millions of people affected by Typhoon Haiyan (locally called Yolanda) 41% are children. It's a terrifying statistic, but from the outset of the response, the Government of the Philippines, civil society organisations and international agencies have been carrying out needs assessments to identify specific risks for children and implementing programs to respond to those needs.
In this report, put together by World Vision, Save the Children, Plan and Unicef, children and young people share their thoughts about what's going on around them, what they need and what they want to happen next.