• ‘More work to be done in Tacloban’

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    IT has been three years since Typhoon Yolanda heavily devastated Samar and Leyte but long-term care remains a continuing activity for rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts to those who have lost their homes and livelihood.

    SOS Children’s Villages is one such organization providing long-term care to affected communities.

    Oscar Garol, village director of SOS Children’s Village in Tacloban, said they have accomplished a lot like providing homes in the areas of Leyte but the work is not yet done.

    “But more are to be done to ensure that basic needs and services are readily available, such as water systems and accessible healthcare. Most importantly, we need to address the needs of children, who are the most vulnerable during disasters and more at risk to the aftereffects,” he added.

    SOS Children’s Villages is a non-profit organization whose goal is to provide long-term family care to orphaned, abandoned, or neglected children. At the heart of its model are the SOS mothers, single women who are employed to provide motherly care throughout a child’s growth to early adulthood. It is present in Davao del Sur, Cebu, Leyte, Iloilo, Calbayog, Bataan, Batangas, and Manila.

    Since 2013, SOS Children’s Villages has set up 11 Child Care Space Centers in Tacloban and Tanauan, Leyte. These centers have playgrounds that are also used for trauma management interventions to treat children still struggling to cope with the typhoon’s negative impacts.

    The organization has also funded the education of children who lost their parents in the typhoon through the Kinship Care Program. “Education is a vital part of a child’s growth. We are currently providing care to 150 parentless children and paying for their education,” added Garol.

    SOS Children’s Villages also provided livelihood support such as 18 fiber boats with engines and fishing nets; 290 small businesses or sari-sari stores; 164 livestock animals, and 66 pedicabs to almost 600 families.

    To date, it has built 236 houses in Tacloban City and 320 houses in Tanauan. Schools were also constructed including 15 classrooms, school canteen, covered basketball court and an administrative building. Adults who grew up with the care of SOS Children’s Villages Tacloban have also been receiving trainings on how to set up and manage their own business.

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