Tough Times for Young Mothers in the Wake of Bopha


Natural Disaster

After Typhoon Bopha, known locally in the Philippines as Pablo, relief supplies have been slow to get to affected communities in Mindanao and villagers in some parts have taken to blocking the roads to beg passers-by for food, clothing and shelter.

All along the coast, children beg on the side of the road with hands outstretched. "It’s a difficult time to be a mother with a young baby," says 21-year-old Adora Quirante, mother of six-month-old Aj from San Antonio in Cateel municipality.

“We have no food for the children and we could only find a few clothes. I’ve been feeding my baby porridge sometimes and breastfeeding at intervals. I have no diapers. Sometimes, I have to leave my baby to visit my husband or go to work. I leave him in the care of others or with his grandmother, who is also staying with us. We need food, shelter, clothing, soap, and medicine,” she says.

When Bopha came, Adora was at home with her son while her husband was away at work in a nearby village. With nowhere to go, she wrapped her baby in a blanket, ran out into the rice field by her house, and lay down on the ground, covering her baby, for nine hours straight as the typhoon unleashed its fury.

“I hope we can rebuild our house. There is some wood left by the typhoon, but we need other things like nails, tools, and metal for the roof. We farmed rice and coconuts before. Now all of that has been destroyed,” she says.

Adora and Aj are currently staying in the house of their village counselor with around thirty other people. The conditions are far from ideal and Aj has already become sick.

“My baby has a cold with a runny nose. We need basic medicine for the baby and also baby powder now.” she says.

Plan's Response to Typhoon Bopha

Plan has launched emergency response programs to bring food, water, shelter, hygiene kits, and medical supplies to the areas affected. Plan is also offering disaster response training to residents and psychosocial counseling to those in need.

Information for Sponsors

We will contact sponsors directly if we receive any news about individual sponsored children. If you are planning a visit or have any particular concerns around this issue, please contact our Donor Relations staff at or at 1-800-556-7918.

How You Can Help

Plan is currently collecting funds to aid those affected. To make a donation, visit Plan's "Make a Donation" page, and select the "Disaster Relief & Recovery" fund in the "Gift Information" section.