The Good, The Bad, and the Helpful: Typhoon Recovery

Learn about the relief and recovery in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan from Mighty Rasing, a Philippines native. He describes both the successes of these relief efforts and where they were not as successful.

In this video, Mighty Rasing reflects on the relief efforts that occurred in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan. He highlights efforts that were effective and helpful, but he also discusses some of the issues with the response. Check the video out to learn more about Typhoon Haiyan from a Filipino perspective.

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Shut Up and Listen

Sometimes in the wake of disasters, we act without taking into account what's needed. Reflect on listening before you act.

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In his TED Talk, Ernestro Sirolli gives well-intentioned do-gooders some advice. If you really want to help someone, shut up and listen. You see, Sirolli would know. He’s one of the most influential people in the field of sustainable economic development. He argues that a lot of aid workers around the world fail because they do not listen to those they are trying to help. Rather, they assume what people need without taking their perspective into account.

How can we really help if we don’t know what people need?

Think about this: Would you give your friend an old pair of shoes? Would you send your sister money if she didn’t ask for it? Would you fly across the country just to help someone move houses?

Why, then, in times of disaster do we assume certain things about the people who survived the disaster?

This reflection is not meant to make you or anyone feel bad. But it’s important to remember that good intentions don’t always lead to good results. A lot of good people with great intentions have done some really unhelpful things in the wake of disasters.

Don’t act without asking what’s needed. Don’t “do good” based on your assumptions. Practice listening first.


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Take Action

Giving Idea: First Response Radio

Learn more about First Response Radio, an organization that sets up radio broadcasts in the wake of disasters in Southeast Asia.

In his interview, Mighty Rasing discussed a group of people who brought radio to survivors in the wake of typhoon. This group is called First Response Radio and they do work that is out of the ordinary when disasters strike. Learn more about their work in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan by visiting this site. As Mighty said, these volunteers were able to bring a radio broadcast soon after the Typhoon that allowed for music and news, but also gave people the opportunity to send messages to loved ones.

If you’re looking to give to an organization that is doing good, creative work that helps survivors in unexpected ways, look no further than First Response Radio. Check out their website for ways to contribute to their work. Responding to disasters doesn’t always look like re-building homes or sending clothes. Sometimes, it comes in the form of radio wires. 

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