DISASTER RESPONSE AND RECONSTRUCTION
Natural disasters often cause massive destruction, leaving a trail of damaged property, lost lives and displaced families. But it is the landless poor that constantly fall victim to disasters, because they are forced to squat in danger zones where they are exposed to storm surges, landslides and floods. Since its establishment in 2003, Gawad Kalinga has been at the frontlines of disaster relief and rebuilding efforts. More importantly, GK has spent the past 10 years building peaceful and productive communities – probably the most proactive and long-term solution to the 'new normal' being felt across the globe.
'Operation Walang Iwanan'
True to our promise of Walang Iwanan (leaving no one behind), Team GK activates relief operations immediately after a disaster strikes. Whether by land, by air or by sea, we challenge the impossible and bring help where it is needed the most. Volunteers, partners and GK residents respond heroically by sharing resources, organizing relief drives and helping network to others. Aside from personally giving out the relief packs, it is the presence and care of volunteers that bring tangible hope to the survivors. And long after relief operations are over, 'Operation Walang Iwanan' continues as the community is rebuilt one home and one family at a time.
Beyond relief and reconstruction is the work of rebuilding lives by getting the children to school, providing livelihood opportunities and building community spirit. As it turns out, beyond building sturdy homes, it is this community spirit that has proven to be the most important, life-saving aspect of our work. Natural calamities have so far brought
zero casualty to GK communities, because the families are on safer ground, organized, and prepared to respond. Our sites have also become evacuation and distribution centers, with our very own community leaders coordinating relief and organizing the community for reconstruction.
The needs of disaster survivors are urgent, yet we have learned that the needs of the millions who live in danger zones are not any less urgent. And as the dark cloud of climate change threatens our country, we know that these vulnerable families are next in line as victims. Unfortunately for us, there’s no way of telling where the next disaster will strike and claim lives. This is why even before the disasters strike, GK proactively brings families from danger zones to communities that are safe from natural calamities.
Read about GK’s most recent disaster response and reconstruction efforts:
• Nov 2014: Typhoon Yolanda (HAIYAN)
• Oct 2013: Bohol Earthquake
• Aug 2013: Typhoon Maring (TRAMI)
• Dec 2012: Typhoon Pablo (BOPHA)
• Aug 2012: Habagat
• Dec 2011: Typhoon Sendong (WASHI)