The Nimbleness of small NGOs
Timeline of what we have accomplished in our Emergency Response to Hurricane Haiyan:
Nov 8, 2013: (Tacloban) Albert Mulles, his mother and sister grasped the kitchen water cistern and held on for dear life as Typhoon Haiyan winds reached 310 kilometers per hour. They yelled prayers to each other as the storm howled through their wood-framed house, tearing off the roof and shredding the wallboards like matchsticks.
On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, a typhoon of unprecedented power, made landfall among the islands of the Philippines causing massive devastation. The storm affected 4 provinces and 10,436 villages in 575 municipalities with sustained winds of 196mph and even stronger gusts, which ripped off roofs, collapsed buildings and shattered windows. Coastal regions were hit with an incredible storm surge, which destroyed boats and fishing gear and left the majority of homes either completely destroyed or uninhabitable.
At last count (Jan 11), there were 6183 dead, 1785 missing and 1.1 million homes destroyed leaving 4.1 million homeless.
Nov 12: (Okayama, Japan) Rose partner AMDA (Asia Medical Doctors Association*) reports that a nurse/coordinator from HQ is already in the Philippines, following up the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that had struck nearby Bohol on October 15. Contact has been made with Philippines Army and Navy to arrange for AMDA teams to join relief missions to the islands of Samar and Leyte.
Nov 13: (Vancouver) Rose Emergency Response expert, Dr. Collin Yong, advises that his Rotary Club contacts are planning food and medical supply missions to the devastated north coast of Negros. He will fly over to join the mission.
Nov 14: (Ubud, Bali) Former Rose Australia Director Sarah Wilson advises that her new employer, Kopernik, is looking for local partners to distribute solar lights and water filtration units for disaster victims. A crowd-funding campaign is launched by Kopernik on their website to cover costs. Rose Canada puts Sarah in touch with AMDA and the Rotary Club of Bacolod North who agree to undertake distribution in conjunction with other local partners and municipality offices.
Nov 14: (Vancouver) Rose Charities partner AMDA Canada announces a shiatsu and mini-concert fund raising initiative targeting the Japanese Canadian community to support AMDA Japan missions in Tacloban and Samar.
Nov 16: Dr. Collin Yong departs for Bacolod, Negros to join teams there.
Nov 20: First report from Dr. Yong: “Working with local nurses and doctors. They are incredible. Missions are successful as it is locals helping locals.”
NOV 23: (Richmond BC) Walkathon fundraiser organized by Alan Yong raises $30,000.
Nov 24 : (Richmond) “Love Without Borders” Concert organized by Colin Yong raises over $7000 for Rose Charities (and the Canadian Red Cross).
Nov 28: (Vancouver) “A Moment for the Philippines” concert and silent auction at Shangri-la Hotel organized by Adam Hurstfield, Shangi-La Hotel and Juan TV raises $21,000.
Nov 28: (Penang) Rose Charities Malaysia launches Haiyan appeal
Dec 5: (Vancouver) “A Night With Philippines” (ANWP), organized by Francis Arevalo, presents 4 ½ hours of entertainment and raises over $9000
Dec 11: (Cebu City) “Cebu Cares, Cebu Shares” (CCCS) founder Marc Canton launches appeal for donations and support for tent city to open later in month for Haiyan victims.
Dec 24: (New York) Rose USA holds a fundraiser and raises $10k that is donated to Phase 6 of Kopernik’s Philippines Typhoon Emergency Response to support additional delivery of solar lights and filtration units to stricken areas.
Dec 28: (Cebu City) CCCS delivers freezer to tent city paid for by “A Night With Philippines” funds
Jan 3: (Cebu City) Jan and Bill Johnston arrive to coordinate with local partners on tent city operations and priority allocation of relief funds
Jan 5-6: (Cebu City) Basic supplies bought and delivered to tent city (60 tents with 237 individuals)
Jan 7: (Daanbantayan) Jan and Bill Johnston, with CCCS partners, visit devastated north of Cebu where most homes were destroyed or seriously damaged.
Jan 9: (Cebu City) Second supply of food and basic needs provided to tent city.
Jan 10: (Ubud, Bali) Sarah Wilson organises for 60 solar lights from Kopernik’s Phase 6 project to be allocated to the tent city (which is still reliant on part-time generators for power).
Jan 10: (Vancouver) Rose and ANWP organizers agree on allocation of remaining funds between shelter kits for the north and basic needs for tent city
Jan 10: (Cebu City) Bill and Jan meet Albert Mulles whose house was destroyed in Tacloban (see Nov 8). He is in Cebu with Junior Chamber International to buy a generator for Tacloban as there is still only 3% electricity supply there. Albert says only private initiatives are working to relieve victims. The Philippines national government was slow to arrive, slower to deliver any assistance. Thus far, no new funds had flowed via the International or Philippines Red Cross to local chapters.
Jan 10: (Cebu City) Bill Johnston (Rose Director) and Marc Canton (CCCS) meet with representatives of Red Cross Philippines (national and regional) to determine when promised support for the tent city will materialize. (As of this writing nothing has been forthcoming).
Jan 18: (Daanbantayan) CCCS delivers 100 more shelter kits to families who have lost their homes. The kits are becoming even more urgent given the incessant rain and threats of storms that are expected to last for most of the month.
Jan 23: (Bacolod) $25,000 approved to supply over 60 fiberglass hulls for fishermen on Bantayan Island whose boats (thus livelihoods) were lost in the storm. (Additional projects identified for the next tranche of funding include repairing Bantayan’s health centre which serves 3400 islanders and repairing a main connecting boardwalk which provides a vital link for several villages).
To Sum up:
The combined efforts with Rose Charities’ partners have and are providing food, clean water and medical care to many people. Around $80,000 has been raised, and spent. As additional funds come in they are allocated to help with reconstruction of lives and livelihoods. Best of all, the implementation has been through an excellent team effort involving ground level support in the Philippines and organization and fund-raising in Canada and the USA.
Rose Charities would like to acknowledge and thank our many donors, organizers and volunteers for their efforts. There is still a long way to go of course, but ‘so far so good’. (It would be interesting to know where the Canadian and BC governments’ matching funds went and what impact they have had to date).
*Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) conducted AMDA Multi National Medical Missions (AMMM) and relief activities around the affected areas from the day after the disaster. AMDA covered wider areas of Samar, Tacloban to Cebu, Bantayan Island and further to the island of Panay with medical and volunteer teams from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal and the Philippines.