IN THE NEXT SIX MONTHS, children such as this recipient of hygiene and household kits will be the focus of intervention activities of Save the Children Philippines, especially in the towns of Bato and San Miguel which were hit hard by super typhoon Rolly. The pressure caused by long-term impacts on food security and livelihood may cause parents to unload their stress on their children, the child rights organization said, and it may also drive children to work to help provide for the family. They are also at serious risk for physical injuries.
Save the Children Philippines has launched a series of integrated response activities to support the needs of thousands of children in Catanduanes and other Bicol provinces who were badly affected by super typhoon Rolly last Nov. 1, 2020.
A month after the calamity, children are still in makeshift homes, face hunger and will miss out on learning, the non-government organization stated, adding that climate-related disasters disrupt children’s learning, destroy homes, educational facilities, health centers, and other infrastructures critical to children’s well-being.
Save the Children’s activities in the island province over the next five months include education in emergencies, programs on child protection, health and sanitation, mental health and psychosocial support (MPSS), as well as water, hygiene and sanitation, Chief Executive Officer Atty. Alberto Muyot disclosed.
The child rights organization will also establish a satellite office in Catanduanes to support 1,200 families with unconditional multi-purpose cash assistance to help them get back on their feet, with disbursement to be handled by the Philippine Postal Corporation.
Humanitarian officer Jcel Luna told local media recently that they are continuing their assessment and finalizing the selection tool with their technical advisers to determine who will fit the criteria and become beneficiaries of the P7,800 cash assistance.
Considered as top priority are families in hard-hit barangays in the towns of San Andres, Virac, Bato and San Miguel, she added, with current efforts focused on Bato and San Miguel.
Extending life-saving interventions to other towns will depend on an assessment based on poverty incidence, total and partial damage to households, and child protection cases.
The program will also integrate food security and child protection components through the provision of free vegetable seeds or seedlings and education about backyard farming, children’s rights, positive parenting, and reporting of child protection concerns.
It has also secured partnerships with four local radio stations for the airing of its COVID-19 radio plugs free of charge, Luna stated, while it is also ready to work with the Department of Education in ensuring learning continuity for the children of Catanduanes.
Save the Children has assisted 2,534 adults and 1,944 children in Catanduanes in the days after super typhoon Rolly.
The assistance came in the form of 2,000 family hygiene kits containing soap, towels, and sanitary napkins; 1,000 households kits such as cookware, blankets and sleeping mats; 2,000 jerry cans for storing potable water; 3,000 plastic sheets to serve as temporary shelter; and, 2,000 boxes of face masks and 4,000 bottles of alcohol for additional protection against COVID-19.
Short sessions on proper hygiene practices were held during distribution while families received printed materials on proper handwashing and cleanliness.
The storm wiped out abaca farms, the main source of income in Catanduanes. It also destroyed fishing boats and damaged vegetables farms. Aside from dwindling food stocks, residents had to suffer from limited water supply due to damaged pipes.