Tag: natural disasters

Families impacted by floods gather at an Unbound office in Nairobi to receive assistance based on their stated needs.
Aug 3 2016

Helping families impacted by floods

By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa

Heavy rains pounded Nairobi, Kenya, in May of this year, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.

Some families were rendered homeless while others lost their belongings. As they waited for the rains to stop, the corridors of a nearby school became their home once dusk fell.

Unfortunately, families served by Unbound in the small village of Rongai were among those affected.

“I would walk by what I used to call home and I could feel my knees get weak,” Jane, a mother of a child sponsored through Unbound, said. “I lost household belongings that I had worked so hard to buy.”

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The staff receives training conducted by Joan Cruz-Salcedo of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
Jan 22 2016

Staffers learn about preparing for earthquakes

The staff of Unbound's Quezon program in the Philippines gathers after attending a seminar on earthquake preparedness.

The staff of Unbound’s Quezon program in the Philippines gathers after attending a seminar on earthquake preparedness.

Being prepared for natural disasters helps alleviate fear, avoid panic and minimize injuries, loss of life and property damage.
That’s why the staff of Unbound’s Quezon program in the Philippines recently took part in a calamity preparedness seminar.

The seminar focused on earthquakes and was led by Joan Cruz-Salcedo, a supervising science research specialist with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

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Manila flooding
Sep 19 2014

Flooding forces Philippine families to evacuate

Manila flooding

Antipolo staff members go house to house checking on Unbound families.

Tropical storm Fung-Wong dumped heavy rains on the Metro Manila region of the Philippines, where more than 33,000 families in our programs live. Flooding forced evacuations and schools and offices to close. Unbound staff members in the area are sending us reports as the storm sweeps through the nation’s capital region, home to more than 11 million people.

Want to help? Donate to Disaster Response.

Read the reports

Members of the Maasai tribe in Kenya
Oct 24 2013

{Pretty, happy, funny, real} in Africa

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~

Every Thursday the Like Mother, Like Daughter blog invites bloggers to post four pictures – pretty, happy, funny and real – and give a little context for each picture.

So here’s {phfr} in Africa on the CFCA blog.

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Sep 30 2010

How can sponsors get news in times of disaster?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. How can sponsors get news in times of disaster?

A. When disasters strike countries where CFCA works, we offer many ways to stay informed.

By visiting the CFCA website, you can view news reports and blog posts compiled using reports from the field, and connect to our Facebook page and Twitter account. These outlets are updated with the latest reports, photos and video we receive from the field.

When disasters occur, the first priority of the local staff is to contact sponsored members to assess damage and identify immediate needs.

As soon as we receive information from the field, CFCA publishes reports on our website, Facebook, Twitter and the CFCA blog. Sometimes, disasters can affect communication lines and it can take longer for CFCA to receive and publish information.

It is not feasible for CFCA to notify individual sponsors on the status of their sponsored friend. CFCA is only able to notify individual sponsors when a sponsored friend dies. CFCA does not publish names of sponsored victims until their sponsors have been notified.

Jun 1 2010

Please pray for families affected by storm

As many of you may know already, Tropical Storm Agatha hit Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador this weekend with devastating results.

Today, we received word that five sponsored children from CFCA’s Atitlan project in Guatemala are confirmed dead from mudslides, with four sponsored children still missing. This is updated from our news story posted yesterday. Our policy is not to release names of the deceased until we are able to contact their sponsors. Projects in Honduras and El Salvador have not reported any deaths.

Staff members in all three countries are still assessing damages. We will update you as we receive more information from the field.

Please pray with us for the precious children who lost their lives and for the healing and comfort of their families, communities and sponsors. We also pray that the four missing children will be found, and for the recovery of all those affected by the storms.

For more details, please see the news story on our website.

Sponsors and others wishing to help may donate to CFCAís Disaster Assistance Fund. One hundred percent of donations to this fund are sent to CFCA projects to help individuals and families affected by disasters. Funds donated are used where they are most needed, and CFCA retains discretion as to the use of the funds. In addition to emergency relief, contributions may be used for long-term assistance.

Jun 1 2010

Dan’s early report from Guatemala

Dan Pearson, CFCA’s director of international operations, was at the Hermano Pedro project in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala, when Tropical Storm Agatha hit. Dan will continue visiting projects in Guatemala and helping staff assess damages from the storm. The following is Dan’s experience this past weekend.

We ended up receiving 150 people last night. Some of them are from around here and have lost their homes or were evacuated, others got stuck in San Lucas when the roads were blocked, and some were from a bus that slid off the road during the rain.

This morning the rain has stopped, and the clouds briefly cleared enough to see the volcanoes behind the CFCA center. We could see at least half a dozen mudslides on the volcano closer to us. Then the clouds came back. The radio says the worst of the rain will start early tomorrow morning and run all morning. They are also reporting that already some of the rivers around here are running higher than they were during Hurricanes Stan and Mitch.

Some people who had been separated from their families left on foot this morning to find their families. Others took advantage of the break in the rain to try to get to the houses of relatives or check on their homes. Everyone is afraid of having their things stolen while they are away. We still have at least 100 here. The city said they would bring food for them this morning, but nothing has arrived yet. We made coffee for everyone, and Brother Jorge (Hermano Pedro project coordinator) is now cooking some porridge for them. Actually, some of the mothers are cooking the porridge because none of us knew how to make such large quantities, and we didn’t want to ruin the batch.

After the devastation of Hurricane Stan in 2005, the Hermano Pedro project implemented the practice of holding two quetzales (about $0.25) per child per month for disasters like this. That fund will be used for immediate response. Because this storm has hit some parts of the country where CFCA has a lot of sponsored children, it is likely many have been affected.

Unless the weather clears up considerably, we probably won’t know until at least mid-week how many sponsored families are affected or what the exact damage is. Some of the Hermano Pedro staff live in different parts of the country than where they work. The storm hit on the weekend, so some of those staff members will have difficulty just getting back to their subprojects with so many roads blocked by mudslides. We heard that the costal route from San Lucas to Guatemala City is closed indefinitely because a bridge was washed away. Other routes in and out are also blocked by mud, rocks and trees. I don’t think it’s possible to get to Guatemala City from San Lucas at this time.

Related links:
Read more about the storm.

Sponsors and others wishing to help may donate to CFCAís Disaster Assistance Fund. One hundred percent of donations to this fund are sent to CFCA projects to help individuals and families affected by disasters. Funds donated are used where they are most needed, and CFCA retains discretion as to the use of the funds. In addition to emergency relief, contributions may be used for long-term assistance.

Jun 1 2010

Opening the window

Last fall, a string of fierce typhoons deluged metro Manila and displaced thousands. Fathers of sponsored children in CFCAís Antipolo project, members of a group known as ERPAT, which stands for ìEmpowerment and Reaffirmation of Paternal Abilities,î helped with rescue and relief efforts. Their work impressed international relief officials and as a result, the ERPAT fathers received two UNICEF grants to help non-sponsored children traumatized by loss cope with their feelings. The following account illustrates one fatherís success and demonstrates why UNICEF chose to recognize the fathers for their efforts.

By Malou Navio, CFCA Antipolo project coodinator

An ERPAT father named Federico shared his experience in helping Allan, 10, overcome the trauma caused by Typhoon Ondoy. Allan and his family stayed in one of the Antipolo evacuation centers until April.

Children used artistic means to express their loss after the typhoon.

Children used artistic means to express their loss after the typhoon.

The ERPAT fathers held activities for the children on the second floor of the center. Allan was always silent and withdrawn. He glued himself to the window, staring toward the direction where his familyís home was. He refused to take the meals served at the activities.

Then, there was an artwork activity Federico facilitated that allowed the children to express their feelings. Allan, while staying at the window, was encouraged by Federico to draw what he was thinking about and talk about his feelings. Federico is a sculptor and construction worker.

When the children finished their artwork, they sat around where Allan was. They were encouraged to share their drawings and feelings. Many children expressed loneliness that their homes were destroyed and their belongings that were lost. The group influenced Allan to talk. Allan cried because he saw his pet dog struggling from the current of floodwater until the dog disappeared. After that, their home and the surrounding homes were sinking. He cried and cried.

After his sharing, Federico asked him how he was feeling, and Allan responded that he felt better. Federico deepened the value of the activity: emphasizing that life is more precious than anything else, the acceptance of the natural disaster, the letting go of the losses, and the love of nature and God.

Federico closely observed Allan in the follow-up activities. As the day went by, Allan was interactive. He played with other children and joined them in meals. Allan and his family returned to their newly repaired home assisted by the government, and Allan resumed schooling.

Read more about the ERPAT fathers on our website.

Feb 18 2009

‘Faith is living inside us’

Earthquake. Fire. Hurricane. Tsunami. Genocide. War. Famine. Hardly a day goes by that one does not hear of a disaster of some kind that is happening in our world.

We listen to the news, we are concerned, we pray, we donate, we try to give relief. Then the 24-hour news barrage moves us on to the next big news story and the cycle starts all over again. Until we become slightly numb to devastation.

While we may quickly move on with our lives after a disaster strikes, those directly affected by it may feel the devastation for many years to come.

Eight years ago, Rosa was living in the mountains outside the city of Santa Ana, in El Salvador. Her eldest son, Carlos, was already sponsored through CFCA. The family was getting by on a meager income that Javier, Rosaís husband, brought in through agriculture, and a small garden that Rosa enjoyed tending. Rosa stayed at home to tend to the children and to take food to her husband in the field.

Then, in January 2001, an earthquake, registering 7.6, destroyed their† home.

Rosa and her two youngest sons, Bryan and Cesar

Rosa and her two youngest sons, Bryan and Cesar

Rosa and her family slept outdoors for many nights and then went to stay with her brother. Rosa, Javier and their three children, her parents, and her brother and his family of four moved to an area in Santa Ana that had been designated for earthquake victims. There they built a small home from scrap metal that they found.

Rosa finds life in the city to be much harder and more expensive than in the country. She now has to buy the vegetables and beans that before she had grown herself, and she buys less of everything because food prices have increased. Where she used to buy one pound of rice, now she buys half a pound. She is, however, very grateful for the nutritional supplements her family receives as a benefit through CFCA. She also misses the community in her old village.

Rosa now earns a living by going to othersí homes and washing their clothes. Javier works as a bricklayer in the capital, San Salvador. He tries to come home every three days to see his family but the transportation expenses are high, averaging $4 a week.

The family prays every night for Carlosí sponsor. They also pray that the other children in the family receive sponsorship.

ìGod holds me which is good, because things are only going to get worse. Things are more expensive now,î Rosa said. ìSometimes I feel like I have been abandoned by God, but then I tell myself I canít give up because faith is living inside us.î

In September Rosaís 9-yearñold son, Bryan, received sponsorship. Godís answer to her prayers.

Update: At the time of this posting, Carlos, 14, is no longer in the sponsorship program. He decided to leave the program to find a job. Rosaís youngest son, Cesar, 3, has been sponsored in his place.