Children recovering from psychological impact of the storm
In 60 villages, World Vision opened safe places for some 20,000 children to gather for activities to boost their recovery from the psychological impact of the storm. This is important not only for the children, but also for their parents as they begin to realise the impact of the storm not only in terms of the physical destruction.
“When children arrived, they were afraid. Living through and watching the devastation of Haiyan hit them hard emotionally,” says Patrick Sooma, who manages World Vision’s programming for children in emergencies. “Over the course of nearly three months, by attending the daily sessions, we saw children overcome their stress — smiles returned and play rekindled.”
Jake William Cabatingan, 2, would often break into tears when the wind became strong or the sky grew cloudy. In the weeks after the typhoon, Jake was taken to World Vision’s Child-Friendly Spaces set up in his village. It has helped him rebound, his mom says. He’s one of the thousands of children who have been transformed by the Child-Friendly Spaces set up in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.
“When they arrived a few months ago, they looked shocked. They were afraid, hesitant. They weren’t happy. They watched their houses fall down and their schools get destroyed. Their faces were hopeless,” says Annie Rose Labra, a Child-Friendly Space facilitator in north Cebu. “Children have returned to normal, they’re happy again.”