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“A lot of children were traumatized by Typhoon Vinta (Tembin),” said Nor-assia, a teacher in Munai, Lanao del Norte.
“A lot was destroyed because nobody expected it to happen. There were floods in the past but they weren’t as high,” Teacher Nor-assia said in her mother tongue. She has seen how children were affected by the typhoon.
Among her students is *Aabida, a 5-year-old girl in first grade.
Before coming to Munai, Aabida lived in Marawi City. She was a happy child; her mother is a teacher and her father is an architect.
When armed conflict broke out in Marawi City, Aabida’s family decided to move to Munai with their relatives.
“She had just received her final grades from her school in Marawi the day the siege happened,” Teacher Nor-assia shared what Aabida told her. “The moment she got back home from school, the gunfire began.”
“At first, Aabida was bullied by other students when she transferred here in Munai,” Teacher Nor-assia recalled. “She was bullied because she was an evacuee.” (READ: Losing my home twice)
Teacher Nor-assia observed that Aabida would sometimes cry, so she told her students to treat Aabida fairly “because she is a child just like you.”
Eventually, things got better and Aabida started mingling with her classmates.
Upon transferring to her new school, Aabida’s classmates also teased her about her “broken school” in Marawi.
Just after a few months of losing her first school, Aabida lost yet another. In the aftermath of Typhoon Vinta, only the floor of Aabida’s classroom in Munai remained.
Due to damages caused by flash floods, classes were interrupted. (READ: A young girl survives Vinta)
Aabida’s house was able to withstand Typhoon Vinta, however, all of her family’s belongings were washed out.
The 5-year-old girl lost everything – twice.
“She likes drawing, and her favorite subject is Music, Arts, and Physical Education (MAPE),” Teacher Nor-assia spoke fondly of her student. “She’s very excited about the back-to-school kits students like her received even though classes are yet to resume.”
When she grows up, Aabida says she wants to be a doctor, “so that I can treat my mom who has kidney problems.”
Children like Aabida can only fulfill their dreams if they stay in school. Can you help them do that?
Rebuild after Vinta
On December 22, 2017, Vinta made landfall in Davao Oriental.
Typhoon Vinta brought heavy rainfall that caused flash floods and landslides in the Southern Philippines, affecting nearly 166,327 families across regions MIMAROPA, VII, IX, X, XI, XII, ARMM, and CARAGA.
Vinta destroyed homes, forcing more than 18,000 families to stay in evacuation centers.
Overall, 471,051 children were affected as of January 18, 2018.
A total of 164 persons were reported dead, while 176 were reported missing. Most of the casualties and missing were reported in the hardest-hit provinces of Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, and Zamboanga del Norte.
Many houses, especially those made of light materials, were either damaged or completely swept away.
Education remains a top priority as many schools were damaged.
School supplies, equipment, records, and other materials were submerged in water. There are also reports of children showing signs of distress after the typhoon.
Save the Children Philippines deployed its Emergency Response Team to Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur. Our team is continuously working with local partners and government agencies in assessing the damages in the schools and the situation of the families in affected communities.
We’ve also begun distributing Back-to-School Kits and setting up Temporary Learning Spaces in affected schools so that children may continue their education.
Support our Response Operations, we cannot make these children wait. Donate today, save lives.
* The name of the child was changed to protect her privacy.