Survivors' Story

When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines last November, killing 6,201 people and leaving 4 million displaced, the ensuing weeks and months put some survivors right back into harm’s way. Already dealing with a lack of food, water, and shelter, a disaster of this magnitude meant girls and young women were at increased risk of rape, forced marriage, and sex trafficking.

Legazpi, a small village on the island of Samar, was badly hit by the storm. But when seven local teenagers suddenly vanished, the area was again on high alert. A Plan International employee noticed their absence, but was told they had been offered work at a bakery in another city.

“I was suspicious, so I asked the parents to check,” said Rhode Ercilla, a local Plan worker. “It turned out their daughters had been trafficked as sex workers.”

Donors like you make it possible to invest in programs to protect young women through preventative education. Thanks to your generosity, teams of local volunteers, mostly female, have been trained and dispatched to the hardest-hit areas of the Philippines.

“We train volunteers to be aware of the dangers of trafficking, abuse, and rape, and to provide emotional support,” said Dr. Unni Kirshnan, head of disaster preparedness and response at Plan. “Ultimately, our goal is to empower young women so they can learn to protect themselves as much as possible.”

You + Plan =

  • 395,000 people have received nutritious food;
  • 138,030 people now have somewhere dry and warm to sleep;
  • 10,443 children have a safe place play, learn, and receive emotional support;
  • 6,109 children have been able to continue learning; and

One bright future for survivors of the storm!

Thank you! Your continued support is critical. Learn more about Plan's Disaster Response and Recovery Efforts.