Saturday, December 31, 2011

UNICEF National Ambassador Gary Valenciano on Sendong and Children

UNICEF National Ambassador Gary Valenciano visited children affected by Tropical Storm Sendong in Iligan City last December 28, 2011.

Mr. Gary Valenciano highlighted the important work that needs to be done so children’s lives can be back to normal. He also talked to affected children and saw the deplorable conditions in evacuation centers. US$ 4.8 M are still needed to help children.

Gary brought his message of hope and healing through a special concert.
A deluge such as this has had a dramatic impact, most especially on children. Many children have died, lost their loved ones, their homes and schools. Those who were lucky enough to survive now face risks to their health and well-being. It is our role to help these disadvantaged children to cope with such a huge loss,” Gary said.

UNICEF National Ambassador Gary Valenciano listens to children's stories_ in Iligan City. (UNICEF Philippines 2011 Kat Palasi)

Typhoon Sendong

In the early morning hours of December 16, Sendong brought heavy rainfall to Northern Mindanao and Central Visayas, overflowing river systems and triggering landslides. At present, over 700,000 persons are affected, half of them children. The disaster has also created the probability for long-term negative impact on children who have experienced profound stress.

The UNICEF National Ambassador was able to speak with children who fled from their inundated communities, and are now living in their schools, which are being used as evacuation centers. Parents and community leaders are also being trained on how to protect children from further harm.

To be able to respond to the effects of Sendong, UNICEF is calling for US$ 5.8 million out of the US$28.6 million requested by the UN. Only US$ 1 million of the funding needed to carry out these programmes has been raised.
UNICEF provided recreation kits including instruments and sports equipment_ to help children affected by calamity in the recovery process. (UNICEF Philippines 2011 Kat Palasi)
UNICEF has now mobilized dedicated staff to respond to this emergency full time. We have been on the ground since immediately after the disaster, working with our partners to deliver essential supplies and provide services to children who are most in need. But there’s still a lot of work to be done, and UNICEF is committed to ensuring that the work is done,Trevor Clark, UNICEF Chief of Mindanao office said.
We are calling on all our UNICEF supporters not to forget the children affected by Sendong. Any amount you give will go a long way to ensure that these children get back on their feet. Please go to unicef.ph to learn how you can help,” Gary said.

If you heart calls out to help these children, feel free to donate to UNICEF Philippines by going to www.unicef.ph or call 758-1000. US$4.8M are still needed.

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