Typhoon Haiyan: Women's journeys towards recovery

Women in the Philippines who rebuilt homes and livelihoods with help from CARE

Women in the Philippines have shown great character and strength to build back their homes and livelihoods since the typhoon - here are just some of their stories.

Since the disaster, women have stepped up and gone far beyond traditional roles to rebuild their own houses, start new livelihoods, work together to support schools, organise community events, and help look after neighbours' needs.

Recognising the valuable role women can play in recovering from the typhoon, CARE targeted women and girls for shelter and livelihood assistance - particularly households that are female-headed, or with a high number of children and young girls.

Women were trained as community organisers and members of the roving Shelter teams which advised communities on how to build back safer. Women were also encouraged to lead income-generating activities to meet their own and their family's basic needs. Support was provided to ensure they had appropriate skills, including business and entrepreneurship skills.

“I did everything I could so that the rebuilding would be fast,” said Aileen Militante. “I wanted so much to transfer to a better, safer home for my children, especially since I have a child with special needs, and sleeping in a makeshift shelter where it can get cold at nights is not good for her.”

I'm excited because on my own, I could not afford to buy those materials. With the shelter repair kit, we can now start rebuilding our house. - Marlyn Iradiel

Venia Gresda, age 42 and a widow, was nominated by her neighbours to be a community mobiliser. Venia works closely with the two village carpenters to provide technical assistance to villagers as they construct their homes. “I ask my neighbours to follow CARE’s guidelines in building back safer techniques. I also studied it and can explain the process myself,” she said.

“I would do everything; laugh with them, banter with them, so long as we all follow build back safer techniques in the end, for our own protection in the future should more storms come.

“This is especially true for families with small children. I feel for the children who are staying in makeshift homes, exposed to the elements. That is why it’s very important to build back safer.”

Your assistance inspires us to rise and recover, and on our end, we promise to do what we can. - Evea Deliciano

Women's journeys towards recovery: One year after Haiyan

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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.