The daily struggle of a Haiyan widow
Jobs are the top priority for many of those whose livelihoods were shattered by Super Typhoon Haiyan. The situation is particularly challenging for women who lost their husbands and became head of household overnight.
8 March marks International Women’s Day and four months after Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines (ILO News) – Like so many of the victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in hard-hit Tacloban City, Lilibeth Sevilla, 37, says getting a job is one of her most pressing needs.
She lost her husband and three of her children to the storm’s wrath, and is now left to fend for herself and her surviving son. The killer storm that devastated parts of the central Philippines four months ago robbed millions of people of their livelihoods, and many widowed mothers now find themselves the sole breadwinners in their households.
“We did not earn much, but we did not have problems in buying the things we needed.” Now, even the little they had is gone. Her husband worked as a vendor, but his supply of fruits was lost when Haiyan destroyed their home.
Sevilla says she’s struggling to cope, but she knows she needs to be strong for her son.
TESDA, ILO aid typhoon survivors with training and tools
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) are joining forces to help an initial number of 1,400 beneficiaries in provinces stricken by typhoon Yolanda.
The beneficiaries, under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on March 6 between TESDA and ILO, would undergo training and would be given the necessary tools, materials and training allowance to help them find employment and access to livelihood opportunities.
“The key objective is to contribute to improving the livelihood of families through gainful employment and other income generating activities, and thereby reducing vulnerable workers and vulnerabilities of women, youth and people with disabilities,” the MOU said.
Secretary Joel Villanueva, TESDA Director General, and Lawrence Jeff Johnson, Director of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines, signed the partnership agreement.
The project, which will last until December 2014 , will be implemented by TESDA, in coordination with the ILO and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), through its network of technical vocational education and training institutions in the four selected areas.
“We think about millions of people who lost their primary source of income to the super typhoon. Through this partnership, we will help them develop new skills and be part of rebuilding their communities, while ensuring their safety and health and providing health insurance and social security. Working with the government, employers’ and workers’ organizations, we support this rebuilding process because placing employment at the forefront of recovery is a sustainable and viable option,” said Director Lawrence Jeff Johnson of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines.
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