Emergency Communications: Strength in the Face of Adversity

emergency communications

In 2015, I was with World Vision as the Communications Manager of the Typhoon Haiyan response. That was the typhoon that shook the Philippines, killing more than 6300 people, with thousands more still missing. It was absolutely devastating for already poor communities, many living in conditions that were dire.

This woman lived inland, in a community that relied on their potatoes, corn and coconuts - not only to feed their families, but also make an income. The typhoon destroyed absolutely everything above ground.

More than a year after this heartbreaking devastation, this woman along with some others, were presented with new, typhoon-resistant homes by World Vision. They had been nominated as the most needy by their community members. Although only a year on, their crops were starting to flourish again. 

Although she was in her 90's, she certainly didn't look it. She had made her dress from an old curtain, and her hair was beautifully tied up. This photo was taken as my colleague translated my disbelief of her age, and that she was incredibly beautiful. She loved the compliment, but also laughed, not knowing quite what to do with it.

For me, this woman symbolised independence, empowerment and resilience. Although her life had taken a turn for the worse, she held her head high, had a smile on her face, and was doing everything she could to move forward.  I couldn't think of anyone more appropriate to symbolise what we stand for at Meaningful Communications <3