Typhoon volunteers tell their stories

Philippines Red Cross volunteers are using an innovative mobile phone app to help thousands of people recover from Typhoon Haiyan, by collecting vital data about the impact of the disaster.

We asked the volunteers to describe their experiences, inspiration and hopes for the future.

What conditions are the people affected by the typhoon living in?

“Sad and heartbreaking conditions. Some of the stories I hear really get to me, especially when I interview elderly people. They act like nothing’s happened but their situation is really sad. It’s really hard to look at the makeshift houses as they’re so cramped. The walls are tin, the roof is collapsed.”
Daniel Uytiepo Amane, 19, from Ilo Ilo City

“They don’t have easy access to medicines, hospitals. They are frequently affected by drought and other seasonal shocks. The weather is unpredictable, which also affects them”
Mark Uytiepo Amane, 23, Ilo Ilo City

Helen Villaflor

Helen Villaflor


Syrian refugees in Lebanon: the neighbour carrying a huge burden

A crowd is given boxes by men in red jackets

© Ibrahim Malla/IFRC

This month the number of Syrian refugees registered by the UN in Lebanon passed one million. Most Lebanese people will tell you the real number is much higher.

Syrians have been fleeing for three years, and not everyone registers their arrival. Some won’t register out of fear of reprisals if they return home. And some who arrived with money feel registering once their cash runs out would take away their last shreds of dignity and identity.

The Lebanese Red Cross is giving vital help, including food and blankets, to thousands of refugees. But even with this support, day-to-day life can be incredibly difficult. More

Picking up the pieces from South Sudan: one man’s hopes for his family

Philip Alier Achiek and his family fled South Sudan -  ©IFRC/Rose&Sjölander

Philip Alier Achiek and his family fled South Sudan – ©IFRC/Rose&Sjölander

Philip Alier Achiek gazes at the sun as it rises over the Baratuku refugee camp in northern Uganda. His four children sit patiently on a mat as their mother prepares their breakfast of porridge on a cooking stove.

For two weeks now, their home has been a temporary shelter made from reeds and plastic sheeting.

When violence broke out in South Sudan in mid-December last year, Philip and his family fled on a motorcycle, not knowing where to go or how long they would be away.


Working amid conflict in Central African Republic – the life of a Red Cross aid worker

A Red Cross lorry with supplies piled up on the ground


“Every field trip we go on at the moment is incredibly tough. We’re seeing a lot of suffering and quite significant humanitarian needs.”  

British Red Cross delegate Nick Hamilton has just returned to base in Bangui, the capital of war-torn Central African Republic (CAR), where he is on a year’s secondment with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Months of unrest have left hundreds of thousands of people homeless and an estimated 2.5 million in need of aid.


Helping Syrian refugees stay positive: psychological support for women

The power of positive thinking can help anyone overcome problems big or small. But for refugees from Syria, struggling to maintain a normal family life after years of conflict, it can be a vital lifeline. Guest blogger Penny Sims met women getting a rare chance to talk about their feelings at a support group run by the Jordan Red Crescent.

© Ibrahim Malla/BRC

© Ibrahim Malla/BRC

At a psycho-social centre in Amman, women gather while their children are cared for in a playgroup next door. The women, a mixture of Syrians, Iraqis and Jordanians, are free to talk about their feelings and experiences with no disturbances from family or partners. For some, this is their only chance to consider how they are, or are not, coping. More

South Sudan Crisis Appeal: life as an aid worker

A woman cradling a baby


The hope and joy that greeted South Sudan’s independence in 2011 seems like a long time ago. The world’s newest nation is in the midst of a conflict and a vast humanitarian crisis.

Millions of people are reportedly in need of humanitarian aid – food, water and shelter – while nearly one million people have been made homeless.

Rory Moylan, from Hampshire, is a field delegate with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Here he talks about the Red Cross’ role in South Sudan and life in the African nation.


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