Over the last seven months, teams in the Philippines have responded to four humanitarian emergencies. World Vision Philippines’ Joy Maluyo gives us a glimpse into life on the front line.
A typhoon, an earthquake, a volcanic eruption and now the coronavirus health crisis. Was it easy to say yes to each of them?
Definitely not, especially for this pandemic.
I remember the first day that we went out to check the isolation tents provided to hospitals. There were only three of us allowed to go out in the beginning: Jao, who is in charge of distribution activities and Randolf, the quiet, yet effective logistics expert who also had to drive for us because of limited manpower.
Then there’s me, the girl whose response vest pockets always burst with a microphone, powerbank, consent forms, and all the essentials a communicator should never go without.
Armed with our protective goggles and masks, we travelled in the car, smiling and cracking jokes together to ease the fear.
“It’s a war, the silent kind, and we were on our way to the battlefield.”
It’s been more than two months since that day.
We are still on a roll and I thank God for the courage to soldier on. Those days of seeing first hand the situation that frontliners, children and their families were in helped me better plan my team’s work, ensuring that people, even those in the far-flung areas are reached by life-saving information.
World Vision has reached over 3 million people using different channels and I honour my colleagues who have been working behind the scenes – from our media point people, to our creatives team and our volunteers on the ground.
It’s also been two months of absorbing the pains of parents rendered jobless by this pandemic, of having a glimpse into the heart of children whenever I photograph them, of celebrating with the team when people come together and respond to our call for help.