The Philippines was recently hit by the superstorm, Typhoon Rai, known locally as Typhoon Odette. This was the most powerful storm of the year and came at the busiest time of the year in the run-up to Christmas, disrupting travel, destroying homes, farms, vehicles and infrastructure such as bridges, roads and power lines. The brunt of the storm was felt in the Visayas region – the middle of the country – as the storm gained strength as it made landfall.
Relief efforts by the government have been slow and private citizens are doing their best to make up for this shortfall, raising donations at home and abroad to provide the necessities for the victims. No matter where you are in the world, you can help make a difference and below are some of the ways you can help victims of this devastating storm, today.
1) Donate money to private organisations helping with the relief cause
Find a reputable group that is helping with this cause on social media or GofundMe (a good place to start) and donate even a small amount. These groups are usually present in the affected areas so can act quickly. Donating to government organisations is inefficient with a lot of red tape and in a country with a reputation for corruption, we cannot be sure as to how much of that will go to its intended use.
2) Provide food and water for the victims
If you are sceptical about where the funds go and don’t want to donate money, consider donating food and water. Clean drinking water is in short supply so if you can, order some mineral water and donate it to the Local Government Unit (LGU), or other private individuals who are helping with distribution. Food donations would ideally be canned goods or those that can be stored or eaten easily without the need for preparation or cooking. As mentioned, clean water is in short supply and saved for drinking.
3) Pay for temporary accommodation
Hotels are usually the places with generators and potable water, and unless they have also been damaged by the typhoon, they would make a good option to house people temporarily. Some hotels offer the option to house victims at a discounted rate and you can go on their online booking room system to pay for a room. Elderly people and those with families are prioritised, and they will certainly be grateful to finally have a safe roof over their heads.
4) Raise awareness
Whether it be through social media or in person, raising awareness about the destruction of this typhoon and how the victims and areas hit are in dire need of help will allow more funds to be directed to help. Set up donation pages, bring these events to the attention of influencers and politicians, as unfortunately, the help doesn’t often come unless the spotlight is shining on the situation.