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Pain and Hope: An Aid Worker's Reflection From Typhoon Washi

Crislyn Felisilda. photo: World Vision

Crislyn Felisilda, a World Vision Field Communications Officer based in the Philippines, recently reflected on the impact Typhoon Washi has made on her country, her job and her life. As a humanitarian worker, she understands the sorrows that disasters bring. However, Crislyn also shares how she has seen communal unity emerge in the darkest of times.

“Personally, it was challenging to capture stories and images of devastation while my heart was breaking. It was challenging to talk with the wailing and the weeping while I wailed and wept too. In that short span of time, I think I’ve seen too much — dead people, dead animals, debris, mud, water, wreckage, decay, hunger, thirst and worst of all, immeasurable loss. However, after death and destruction stared in my face, my heart was awakened enough to immediately help. My channels are my stories and images. I realized how powerful they can become.

Despite the disaster, I see Bayanihan (a spirit of communal unity) among us. The government, non-government, private individuals and groups are rushing to respond. At World Vision we’ve been distributing food, water, and supplies to families. Child Friendly Spaces have been set up to help some of the typhoon’s youngest victims. I see hope in their smiles and in their celebrations during the Christmas holiday.”

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