“It is a terrible time for all of us here. We can only pray and hope that it will not be that strong when it finally gets to land.”
This was the last email we received from our Philippines office before Typhoon Haiyan struck on Thursday afternoon, November 7. We held our breath and prayed and waited through an agonizing 24 hours until finally on Friday night, our country director got a message through to us.
“We’re all safe. I am with our Feed the Children-Philippines team north of Cebu today bringing hot VitaMeal-based ‘champorado’ to typhoon victims here.”
Desperately Needed Relief
You’ve seen the images. Whole communities are nothing but splintered wood. Thousands dead. Thousands more desperate for food, water, and shelter. All this on the heels of a magnitude-7.2 earthquake just two weeks prior.
In spite of it all, our staff persist. They are checking on all of the people in all of the communities we serve. They are driving mobile kitchens out into typhoon-devastated areas, serving hot food fortified with VitaMeal and delivering bags of rice and bottled water to children and their families. (VitaMeal provides an essential balance of nutrients for brain and skeletal development, skin health, and immune defense, prevents dehydration with electrolytes, and provides 25 vitamins and minerals.)
All of this work is saving lives today. But it isn’t the full story.
Because of our 25 years in the country, we also see the big picture and all it will take to recover what was destroyed. We helped build the infrastructure – the feeding programs, schools, water and sanitation systems, and livelihood projects – that now needs repair.
One island community where we work was completely leveled. We have signed up 320 children in this community the Philippines to receive a sponsor. As of November 20, 97 still need to be sponsored.
The Philippines needs assistance today; but beyond that, they need investors for tomorrow. We have been there for 25 years, and we are committed to staying for the long haul.
You Can Help
Perhaps you have been overwhelmed by just how massive the catastrophe in the Philippines is and thought, “I can’t do anything to help. The situation is too terrible for my small donation to make a difference.”
We have good news – you can help! When you sponsor a child from the Philippines, you not only invest in the health and education of that boy or girl, you also invest in their community as a whole. And in the wake of this storm, you can know that 100% of your sponsorship dollars will go directly toward storm assistance – rebuilding, repairing, and helping communities get back on their feet.
Child sponsorship changes a person’s life in a real, tangible, measurable way. A study published in the Journal of Political Economy examined 10,000 individuals in six countries and found that adults who were sponsored as children are:
- One third more likely to finish high school
- More likely to complete more than one year of higher education
- 35% more likely to have white collar jobs
Sponsoring a child from the Philippines is a powerful way for you to respond to Typhoon Haiyan. These 97 children whose homes were destroyed in the typhoon still need sponsors. Take action today. Sponsor a child in this community and show them you care.
Scott Killough, PhD, is Vice President for Program Development at Feed the Children.