Addressing women’s health needs in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan

Above, devastation left by the Typhoon. Below, a flyer advertising the club's project.

Devastation left by the typhoon, and a flyer advertising the club’s project.

By Pamela Godoy, past president of the Rotary Club of Mandaluyong-Pasig-San Juan, Philippines

Not long after Super Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) made its first landfall on 8 November, Rotary members in District 3800 began mobilizing donations to help the relief efforts.

Instead of the usual items for relief packs (canned goods, instant noodles, etc.), the members of my Rotary club decided to take a different approach and focus on providing health and protection kits to women. Each kit contains sanitary napkins, underwear, soap, towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, blanket, whistle, and flashlight. The kits aim to meet the specific health and protection needs of women and girls in areas affected by the typhoon.

More than 13 million people, including some 3.2 million women and girls age 4 to 15, were affected by the storm. More than 4 million men, women, and children have been displaced, and many became desperate for food, safe drinking water, basic shelter, and sanitation.

Club members reached out to private companies and NGOs for in-kind donations to purchase the health kits, provide transportation, and overcome distribution challenges. Members also volunteered to pack goods, pick up donations, and mobilize mothers and neighbors to help pack the kits.

We are continuing to find additional funds and in-kind donations so we can distribute the hygiene kits and find other ways to enhance the mobility, comfort, and dignity of the women and girls affected by the typhoon, so they can focus on re-building their lives.

Source: Rotary Voices

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