TV personality Marc Nelson and Lion King musical’s child actor JJ Dolor, represent World Vision as they spend a day in Makilala, Cotabato to visit quake-affected children and their families.
“Going around the town of Makilala, we’ve seen schools that were severely damaged by the earthquake. In the village where we distributed relief items, we came across temporary shelters with little pieces of tarpaulins that can only last for few months especially in this weather,” shares Nelson who is a staunch World Vision advocate on disaster risk reduction.
“I was saddened to see children like me staying in evacuation centers. But, despite their situation, they were smiling at me and were playing with me throughout the time that we were there,” says Dolor.
Nelson and Dolor visited the schools where World Vision set up temporary learning spaces to complement the government’s efforts in ensuring that children’s education is not disrupted. They also participated in a child-friendly space activity aimed at helping children cope from the distress caused by the multiple earthquakes that hit their province last October.
Nelson and Dolor’s visit highlights not just the coming together of Filipinos to support the quake-affected communities but also their ongoing and long term needs. The national disaster risk reduction and management report showed that more than 330,000 individuals were affected across Regions XI, XII, 47,000 are still in evacuation centers. Meanwhile, the education department said that over two billion pesos is needed to repair the over 500 schools in North Cotabato that were damaged.
“The good news in all these is that I’ve seen people helping each other. This is also where we all come in. There is a need for durable solutions. We need to help these people help themselves on their journey to recovery, support parents bounce back so that they can provide for their children’s needs,” says Nelson.
“I call on everyone. Please continue to help my fellow children,” appeals Dolor.
World Vision, to date, has reached more than 5,000 individuals, over 3,000 of whom are children. Relief items that include hygiene kit (toothbrushes, toothpaste, bath and laundry soaps, sanitary napkin, malong, nail cutter, underwear), non-food items (plastic mat, mosquito net, blanket) water purifier kit (jerry can, filter cloth, water purifier packets), emergency shelter kit (tarps, rope) were given to more than 1270 families while 10 temporary learning spaces were set up, benefiting more than 3200 school children. Psychosocial support through child-friendly spaces is also on going and has so far reached close to 1000 children across Makilala, Tulunan and Kidapawan.
World Vision also plans to support the early recovery of the affected communities through various ways possible, including cash-based interventions.
To know more about World Vision, its work in the Philippines, and how you can support, visit www.worldvision.org.ph.