Category: Resilience

How Victoria Beckham’s shoes helped build a new future in the Philippines

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A boy looks out of the window of a house built by the Red Cross recovery programme in the Philippines

When the sun shines, rural Iloilo can feel like a tropical paradise. But when Typhoon Haiyan ripped into it, this province of the Philippines was anything but.

On 8 November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the largest storms ever to make landfall, killed 6,300 people and left four million homeless.

As soon as we heard the news, people in the UK were ready to help.

Over the next few months, our supporters raised a staggering £13 million for the British Red Cross.

Three years later, recovery from the typhoon is complete in Iloilo and people have been left better able to cope with future storms.

Here is how you – and Victoria Beckham – helped to rebuild communities.

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Grants, ducks and cyclones: seven lessons from Bangladesh

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A man standing in a doorway holding a duck in each hand

What would you do if cyclones flooded the farmland you depend on every year?

Imagine living in an area that floods nearly every year.

For two to three months, you earn can no money and have to leave your home because it is surrounded by several feet of water.

Your house and farm animals can even get swept out to sea.

Despite working hard and saving between the cyclones, your family gets caught in this cycle year after year.

In 2013, the Red Cross, with our partner the Bangladesh Red Crescent, started supporting people in coastal villages in a new way.

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World Humanitarian Day: meet the people we all rely on

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Today is World Humanitarian Day. Many aid workers are risking their lives to help people in dangerous places from Syria and Yemen to South Sudan and Afghanistan. Others are volunteering their time and skills to help others in their communities. Join us on a trip around the world to meet the people who are always ready to help in a crisis.

Italy
Italian Red Cross nurse Daniela and her team rescue a group of people stranded in a sinking boat in the Mediterranean.

Italian Red Cross nurse Daniela and her team rescue a group of people stranded in a sinking boat in the Mediterranean. The work on board the rescue boat is relentless as hundreds of people are rescued from the water every day. Aid workers like Daniela ensure people feel safe and protected. (Photo: Jason Florio / MOAS)

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A different kind of fire-fighter

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Andy stood outside his fire damaged house with the two Red Cross volunteers who helped him start the recovery process following a house fire

Watching your home burn can be heart-breaking. As your belongings go up in flames, it can feel like your memories and life are too.  

“You don’t know how you’ll feel until that happens and I don’t want to feel like that again,” said Andy Goodwin.

Earlier on this year, he watched the fire service tackle a blazing fire which engulfed his home in Linden, Gloucester. He and his family had made it out safely thanks to a working smoke alarm.

But standing out in the cold on the street and in their nightclothes, Andy couldn’t focus on what to do next: “I was all at sixes and sevens. I was all over the place.”

Fortunately two British Red Cross volunteers were called upon by the fire service – and they had everything Andy needed at that very moment to cope with this crisis.

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From garden to plate in Nepal

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Kanchhi Laamichhane holds a bowl of corn kernals in front of her home

Who doesn’t like the idea of growing fresh and nourishing vegetables, then cooking a delicious dinner?

But this takes on a new meaning in Nepal, which only last year was struck by two enormous earthquakes.

Thousands of people died and many others lost their food, crops, farm equipment and homes.

Since then, the Red Cross has given 3,000 farming families grants to replace the seeds and tools they need.

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Mongolia: when your animals are your life

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Baynakhand holds a young goat inside her ger

Bayankhand

How would you feel about keeping a goat or two in your living room? Every night, Bayankhand Myagmar shares her one-room home with her husband, son, daughter, and some cold and hungry goats.

This traditional herder family is caught up in Mongolia’s dzud – a hot, dry summer followed by an extremely cold winter. Temperatures can fall as low as -60C at night.

First, the summer drought means there is not enough grass and hay stocks are low. The animals get weak from hunger and the bitterly cold winter finishes them off.

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Nepal floods: mothers with a mission

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Photograph of Padma, leader of the flood committee

Padma

Padma could have kept quiet. Many women in her small community in Nepal do.

Fair enough – they are usually working very hard. Their husbands mostly live abroad to earn extra money so they have sole responsibility for their children, livestock and homes.

Many also work on tea plantations, earning as little as £1.20 a day for their labour – less than the cost of a mother’s day card in the UK.

Padma makes ends meet for herself, her son and daughter by raising two goats, two cows and seven chickens on a small piece of land.

But she spoke up because, on top of all of this, her home and land are threatened by regular flooding. So are most houses in her village, which lies in a flood plain near the Mechi River in Nepal’s Terai region.

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Q&A: What you need to know about El Niño

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p-PHL2894You may have heard about El Niño in the news recently.

It’s been claimed that this global weather phenomenon could lead to a prolonged freezing winter in the UK – more sensationalist headlines than fact.

It’s also been reported that El Niño could have been behind Hurricane Patricia – the biggest storm ever recorded in the western hemisphere – that hit Mexico at the weekend.

One thing is for sure. An El Niño event is well underway and it could have significant repercussions for communities across the world, particularly those in developing countries.

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