Diakonia - People change the world
Pouldo Bacatio pauses to remember his grandmother Salvacion, who was buried in a common grave in a church yard in Palo, in the Philippines province of Leyte. She and thousands of others were killed by Typhoon Haiyan. Photographer: Paul Jeffrey

The Philippines one year after Haiyan

November 8th 2014 marks the one year anniversary of the typhoon Haiyan, also known as Yolanda, which struck the Philippines and killed over 6,000 people. The devastation was enormous. Our donors in Sweden engaged in a fantastic way and Diakonia could thus contribute with both emergency assistance and in the reconstruction phase.


Memorial ceremonies important for the survivors

The anniversary of the passing of a loved one is important to the people of the Philippines. Consequently, on November 8, 2014 there will be several memorial ceremonies all over the country. They are all an important part of the grieving process and the crisis management, both on an individual level and for the society as a whole.

Candlelight memorial live streamed

The Haiyan Candlelight Memorial will be live streamed so that all of us can follow it online. The program is dedicated to highlighting significant community achievements 12 months after Haiyan. It includes important lessons learned from the ground as ravaged populations worked alongside multinational response. The program likewise aims to present lesser known milestones resulting from inter-government collaborations from emergency to rehabilitation.

From a mission standpoint, the program also seeks to present a closer look at the new level of international cooperation resulting from Haiyan. It aims to collectively assess inter-agency adaptation, system compatibility, new methods as well as social factors that led to speedy recovery in the region.

Forum about disasters, climate change and poverty

The Diakonia partner organization Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches, CPBC, through which Diakonia channeled support to affected communities in Iloilo will arrange a forum about Disasters, Climate Change and Poverty.

The meeting will involve CPBC key leaders, the CPBC Development Ministries Yolanda Response team. Of course survivors will also participate to share how the super typhoon Yolanda affected their lives and livelihood and the solidarity, support and assistance of donors from the local, national and international levels.

In the latest report from CPBC the organization states that the main focus of activities now is the continued rebuilding of the lives of the survivors through reconstruction of houses, assistance for livelihood and psycho social support. Efforts and initiatives focusing on capacitating the communities to be resilient through education, awareness raising and advocacy in community based disaster risk reduction and management are also part of the work.

Diakonia is on site with ACT Alliance

Diakonia is also working in the Philippines through the international network ACT Alliance. This work now has its focus is on reconstruction. All efforts are closely linked with activities to prepare communities and people for future natural disasters. Psychosocial support to victims is an important part of the ACT Alliance efforts as well. Many people are still traumatized by the tragedies caused by Haiyan and are in great need of support to be able to rebuild themselves and their lives.