Vamco was the 21st tropical cyclone to hit the Philippines in 2020 and arrived only two weeks after Typhoon Goni. It forced thousands of sponsored children into crowded, wet and uncomfortable evacuation centres. The homes of more than 700 sponsored children across 10 local partners were damaged or ruined.
Immediately, Compassion's crisis management team assessed how local partners were coping. Just as children in poverty are affected, the Compassion Philippines staff also suffer from the effects of the typhoons.
The team learned that four members of staff were trapped in the flood and the waters were rising at an alarming rate. One of the first alerts read: “Please pray for [local staff] Abigail and Joseph. The flood is now up to the third floor of their house.” The following message indicated there were also sponsored children trapped on their rooftops.
“This is the second time my family has experienced major flooding as high as our roof,” says Joseph. “And on both occasions, my co-workers at the Compassion national office were there, ready to offer help.”
Staff acted immediately, navigating through the flood, traffic and dark streets to help their colleagues and the children in their care. The next day, staff put on their face masks and face shields to buy and pack groceries. The team of volunteers headed to the homes of children and staff with the provisions.
Abigail was all smiles when she received the team. “I don’t know how I could thank them enough,” she says. “I am so touched, and so are my parents.”