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Aid agencies try to bring some Christmas cheer to the survivors of typhoon Haiyan


Philippines

Aid agencies try to bring some Christmas cheer to the survivors of typhoon Haiyan

Tacloban in the Philippines – survivors of last month’s typhoon Haiyan have become used to living among the ruins…

But it is Christmas time and with 90 percent of Filipinos being Christian, NGOs are trying to put a smile back on the faces of the children.

Leoniza Morales of World Vision said: “ During this disaster they experienced fear and trauma. And we want them to have a sense of normality. We want to help them to process their feelings, emotions. We have given them some creative activities.”

But Tacloban was the Philippine city that suffered the worst devastation from the super typhoon, which killed more than 6,000 and affected the lives of 11 million.

Mothers lost their children, children lost their mothers – no family was untouched by the disaster and thoughts of tinsel and Christmas lights are a long way down the list of priorities.

For the adults, rebuilding their homes is the main priority – they would then at least have something to decorate next year.

Even so a handout of donated Christmas presents organised by the government provided a welcome relief. However, most Filipinos say they are putting their trust in international help to pull them out of their misery.

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