Maruja, a 44-year-old from Brgy. 14, Dolores, Eastern Samar, thought she was just going to be a plain housewife. But things took a dramatic turn when Save the Children Philippines’ E-Samar Project was introduced to their community.
“Women became more involved in the community – finally,” said Maruja.
In times of disaster, women take the brunt in meeting the needs of their families – from reestablishing access to food, shelter, to securing relief from authorities. Women take the lead in rebuilding not only their families, but their communities.
“Sometimes we forget that women and children are the most impacted by disasters,” said Maruja.
The E-Samar Project, a project by the European Union, Save the Children Philippines, the Government of Eastern Samar, and Caritas Borongan, aims to increase and strengthen the effectiveness of the local government units’ disaster response and preparedness procedures, especially for the children and women from communities that are highly vulnerable to calamities.
"Before the E-Samar Project, most people here were not really oriented about things we needed to do before, during, and after a disaster. We would just trust our survival instincts," she added.
With the help of the E-Samar Project, people became more aware of disaster response and preparedness mechanisms.
“Because of the sessions, I was able to come up with project proposals that are women- and child-friendly. I always feels excited about coming back home after the training so I can share what I learned to other women,” said Maruja.
Because of the project, Maruja saw a more active participation of women in their barangay.
"The project did not only empower her but empowered the women in her community to take up their seats as leaders and raise their voices in local policy-making," she said.
Yesterday, Save the Children Philippines commemorated the 7th anniversary of Children's Emergency Relief and Protection Act, which protects the rights of children before, during, and after disasters and other emergency situations.
Learn more about our #GenerationHope campaign to address the impact of climate change by visiting https://www.savethechildren.org.ph/.