Daily life has changed in the Philippines province of Southern Leyte since a deadly landslide crashed through the community of Guinsaugon in early February.
A volunteer, and former sponsored child (in blue shorts), leads children in recreational activities at a Christian Children's Fund Child Centered Space.
People lost family members, homes and property. Parents are busy obtaining relief supplies, especially food and water. Confronted by their new situation, parents are finding it difficult to fully meet their children’s needs.
Most children in Southern Leyte, about 420 miles southeast of Manila, find their lives have been disrupted in every way since heavy rains triggered a major landslide. The mud and debris — 30 meters, or 98 feet, deep — buried the remote farming village of Guinsaugon, home to 1,850 people.
Four evacuation centers, which are located in local schools, are attempting to meet the needs of more than 2,120 evacuees from the affected community and others in its immediate area, including approximately 400 known survivors.
Quick Response Program
CCF-Philippines has established a quick response program that will work to ensure the well-being of children and their families at the evacuation centers. CCF, which was not working in the immediate area before the disaster, is establishing short-term Child Centered Spaces to help children through normalizing activities to help them in their recovery.
CCF-Philippines established four Child Centered Spaces. All four spaces are operating in the local elementary school because the evacuation center located there already services the largest number of children.
These unique entry-level emergency response programs provide places for children to cope with the loss and fear generated by the landslides. With their homes and schools washed away, the children need a safe, structured place where they can engage in educational and recreational activities that facilitate the return to normalcy.
Activities will revolve around creative arts, storytelling and creative play facilitated by local volunteers.
The Child Centered Spaces also give parents a chance to take care of family business, cope with their own shock and grief, and prepare for the future.
Guinsaugon stood in an area previously identified by the government of the Philippines as a danger zone. In February, that risk became a reality because of a combination of deforestation, unstable volcanic rock and heavy rains.