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news | August 21, 2017 | Philippines |

At the Front Line to respond to urgent need in the Philippines

Polly has been an humanitarian aid worker since 13 years

ACTED has been working in the Philippines since 2012, responding to emergencies, rebuilding during recovery and supporting the development of vulnerable communities, thanks to dedicated field staff, ready on the front lines. We celebrate them with some of their testimonies on the urgent response, on the occasion of World Humanitarian Day 2017.

Testimonies from three humanitarian workers with ACTED in the Philippines who contributed to the emergency response to typhoon Haiyan that ravaged the archipelago in 2013

Lyka, AMEU Officer

“During my college days, I did not know much about the humanitarian sector or what it meant to be a humanitarian. That all changed when Typhoon Haiyan hit in 2013, devastating my community and family as we lost five close relatives. We were distraught and not sure how we would rise up again following such a disaster.

I found my rise by starting to work within the humanitarian sector, becoming part of a big change within the community and people’s lives, knowing that we #standtogether.

It is through working with ACTED and gaining experiences that I have found what I really want to do. Being engaged with the community has developed my personality, moulding me into a better person. Meeting people from different countries has taught me to grasp things from different perspectives and mature into the confident woman I am now.”

May Ann, WASH Community Mobilizer

“My hometown was ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, destroying homes and livelihoods. Between all this destruction however I had the opportunity to work as a humanitarian worker with ACTED. I was able to help those affected by the typhoon, providing family education, latrines and hygiene kits, seeing the hope return not only to the people I was able to help but also to myself.

Working within the humanitarian sector is a thrilling experience, with ACTED Philippines and most especially with the people from my community, providing me the opportunity to support my daughter and my family, as well as to grow individually.”

Joey, WASH Community Mobilizer

“My family and I were severely affected by Typhoon Haiyan. That is when I first started as a humanitarian, working as a WASH Community Mobilizer within the emergency response. It was not easy during that time, however working as a humanitarian gave me hope that my community and I could rise up again after this disaster.

That time my life was not only changed by Typhoon Haiyan but also by becoming a humanitarian worker. I have become a better citizen, learned how to deal with challenges, interact with people from different parts of the world, respect people and become patient. I have learned that whatever kind of problem comes into my life, as long as I #standtogether with others those problems and challenges can be overcome.”

Testimonies from ACTED Field Team in Mindanao

Guada Ann,Area Logistics officer

“Prior to my work with ACTED, I was a public servant. I am ow happy to be part of the humanitarian work, and to be able to serve people. I started working with ACTED in 2013. On the onset of Typhoon Haiyan, I thought I would join voluntarily to help my community affected by the super typhoon. I never imagined it would turn into a career. ACTED has taught me to be more responsible, mature and a strong woman through its principles.

Being a humanitarian has enabled me to grow and learn with my community. We can do it!"

Momina, Cotabato AME Officer

“Humanitarian work is not just a career but a commitment and passion. Born in Mindanao, being displaced was a regular ‘event’ every two to three years for my family and I. Being a beneficiary of humanitarian assistance when I was young generated my passion to become a humanitarian worker, assisting people affected by disasters. It has not been easy the last 15 years as there is constant and unpredictable travel, separation from loved ones and stressful situations. However, I am lucky that my family supports my passion and enables me to keep going. By standing together with my family and ACTED I am able to help vulnerable families and share their stories with the world. “

Polly, Cotabato Base Manager

“It has been 13 years and counting that I have been a humanitarian and involved in humanitarian work. I started off as a volunteer, through the years working on peace building and WASH emergency assistance, growing stronger and more experienced. I believe in the importance of consultation with people, as I grew up in a conflict-affected community and know that they have a story they want to tell. Working as a humanitarian for ACTED has given me the chance to tell that story further and address their needs. ACTED values my ideas and capacities, helping me realise who I really am, a humanitarian. I am committed to standing together with the people of the Philippines, embracing my social responsibility through the spirit of voluntarism and community service.”

Timothy John, Deputy Project Manager

“Helping people is an innate thing for every individual, yet it does not always translate into actions. Being a humanitarian takes a lot of courage, yet it does not mean you have to ‘go big or go home’. I started turning my instinct into action in 2013, when I started a feeding programme for less fortunate children in a barangay in Maguindanao. I used money out of my own pocket to run the program,me a simple action yet significant. Feeding the children on a monthly basis, together with psychosocial activities such as playing games and singing songs brought light back into their individual lives.

I guess you can say I caught the “humanitarian bug” from there as I wanted to scale up my actions and learn from the professionals, all so I could better help the people in my community. That brought me around the Philippines. When the opportunity came to work with ACTED I didn’t hesitate as there are so many best practices to learn. It has been a lot of hard work, responding to big emergencies such as Marawi, however with the whole team we achieve our goals. We stand together following our instincts to help people.”