June 2018

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Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines on November 8, 2013, as a category 5 storm. It laid waste to the Visayas group of islands, the country’s central region and home to 17 million people. Haiyan was the most powerful storm in 2013 and one of the most powerful typhoons of all time.

With wind speeds sustained at more than 150 mph, Haiyan was classified as a super typhoon. However, its massive storm surge was even more destructive. Local officials estimated that Tacloban City on the island of Leyte was 90 percent destroyed.

The typhoon’s fury affected more than 14 million people across 44 provinces, displacing 4.1 million people, killing more than 6,000 people, and leaving 1,800 missing. In addition, 1.1 million houses were either partially or totally damaged, 33 million coconut trees (a major source of livelihoods) were destroyed, and the livelihoods of 5.9 million workers were disrupted.

Typhoon Haiyan timeline

While typhoons can occur at any time of the year, the peak occurrence is in late August and early September. Typhoon Haiyan was the 13th named storm of 2013 in the Northwest Pacific Basin.

  • Nov. 2: The storm is detected as a low-pressure area in Micronesia.
  • Nov. 4: The system is upgraded to a tropical storm and named Haiyan.
  • Nov. 6: The storm hits Palau and parts of Micronesia. After growing in intensity for days, Typhoon Haiyan became a Category 5 storm, with wind speeds above 157 mph.
  • Nov. 7: Haiyan enters the Philippines area; alerts, preparations, and evacuations intensify.
  • Nov. 8: At 4:40 a.m., Haiyan makes landfall in Eastern Samar at peak capacity. It continues to spread destruction through the Visayas, the Philippines’ central island group.
  • Nov. 9: The storm moves out into the South China Sea, heading toward Vietnam.
  • Nov. 10: Haiyan makes landfall in northeast Vietnam, much diminished, then disintegrates into bands of rain over Guanxi, China.
2013 Typhoon Haiyan_Philippines Typhoon Haiyan’s track through the Philippines and beyond shows the intensity of impact along its route. (2013 map courtesy of REACH Initiative)
Typhoon Haiyan’s track through the Philippines and beyond shows the intensity of impact along its route. (2013 map courtesy of REACH Initiative)

FAQs: What you need to know about Typhoon Haiyan

Explore frequently asked questions about Typhoon Haiyan, and learn how you can help children and families in the Philippines:

Fast facts: Typhoon Haiyan

  • One of the most powerful storms ever tracked, Typhoon Haiyan was a “super typhoon” with sustained winds of over 150 mph.
  • Leyte Island was buffeted by sustained winds of 195 mph and gusts up to 235 mph.
  • Not only was the storm powerful, it occurred after the official typhoon season’s November 1 ending.
  • More than 14 million people were affected by the Haiyan.
  • Typhoon Haiyan was called Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines; it was given that name by the country’s atmospheric sciences agency.


What is a typhoon?

A typhoon is the same thing as a hurricane and a cyclone — the difference is in the location. Hurricanes occur in the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific. Typhoons, like Haiyan, are found in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. In the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean, the same type of storm is called a cyclone. But scientifically, they are all known as tropical cyclones.

When there’s a bit of weather disturbance, a warm tropical ocean, moisture, and a light wind — conditions may be right to produce a cyclone. By whatever name, these storms can produce violent winds and waves, torrential rains, and flooding.


Why was Typhoon Haiyan a super typhoon?

Haiyan was called a super typhoon for part of its life because of it sustained winds of more than 150 mph. Wind speed, however, is not the only factor that determines the destructiveness of storms. Don’t forget about other associated hazards like storm surge, tornadoes, and flooding.


Is the Philippines a disaster-prone country?

The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. The U.N.’s 2017 World Risk Index places the Philippines as the third most at risk of natural disasters among the 171 countries ranked. Vanuatu and Tonga ranked first and second.

Not only is the Philippines at risk for disastrous weather events, it is in a hot zone for earthquakes and tsunamis. In fact, only three weeks before Typhoon Haiyan, Bohol island was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that affected 3 million people in Bohol and Cebu, killing more than 200 people. Many families were still receiving aid and living in evacuation shelters when a second catastrophe hit them — Typhoon Haiyan.


How can I help children and families in the Philippines?

Pray for children and families affected by poverty and recurring disasters in the Philippines and other countries in the Asia Pacific region.

Sponsor a child in the Philippines. When you sponsor a child, you will help change a child’s life story and the life of their family and community. You’ll provide access to life-saving basics like nutritious food, healthcare, clean water, education, and more.


World Vision’s response to Typhoon Haiyan

World Vision has worked in the Philippines since 1954, caring for children and building sustainable communities.

Typhoon Haiyan devastated 20 development project areas where World Vision works, including in Bohol province, which had been badly damaged by an earlier earthquake.

When Typhoon Haiyan hit, our staff were ready to respond. Even as they began to provide emergency relief, a top priority was to reach out to all of the nearly 40,000 children registered in World Vision’ sponsorship program. More than 5,600 children in Leyte and Antique provinces were sponsored by U.S. donors.

“World Vision staff came to our place to check on us. We were asked about what we went through and how we felt,” says Kim, a sponsored child who lives on Panay island. “I felt good after crying my fear out to the staff. She was the first to hear my story because I didn’t want my parents to worry about me.”

The Typhoon Haiyan response covered four areas — North Cebu, Panay, West Leyte and East Leyte — serving 566 villages in 48 municipalities that were among the hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan. More than 1.6 million people benefited from World Vision’s work over the three years of the Typhoon Haiyan response.

World Vision responded to Typhoon Haiyan in three phases:

Emergency relief phase: November 2013 to February 2014

  • 789,816 people served
  • Relief work included providing emergency shelter, household goods, food, water and sanitation, education support, health, cash for work and livelihoods support, and child protection

Recovery phase: March 2014 to December 2014

  • 321,403 people served
  • Recovery work included providing shelter, water and sanitation, health, livelihoods and cash-based programming, anti-trafficking programs, disaster risk reduction, and repair and replacement of vital infrastructure

Rehabilitation phase: January 2015 to December 2016

  • 84,727 people served
  • Rehabilitation work included providing shelter, water and sanitation, infrastructure, disaster risk reduction, and livelihoods and cash-based programming

The post Typhoon Haiyan: Facts, FAQs, and how to help appeared first on World Vision.

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Isn’t it amazing how kids can DIY their own homemade toys? On my first trip to see World Vision’s work in Malawi in 2011, I met a future electrical engineer named Andrea. At only 11-years old, this resourceful kid used broken radio parts, rechargeable batteries, and a piece of broken solar panel to build a working radio that changed stations.

If making your own radio sounds too complicated, remember, the best homemade kids’ toys are usually simple. A little imagination can turn a basic cardboard box into a house, a spaceship, or a race car. A paper towel tube can be an explorer’s telescope. My 3-year-old recently made a pair of binoculars with toilet paper tubes and tape.

Kids have a lot of creativity in making their own toys. And sometimes, creative constraints can inspire some pretty cool inventions. In developing countries around the world, including camps for displaced people and refugees, kids are making their own toys out of objects they find. If children there can make their own toys, the kids in your life can too!

Maybe you’re looking for some free craft ideas and summer activities for your kids. Maybe you have an appreciation for seeing ingenuity in children. In either case, we hope you’ll enjoy these photos of DIY homemade kids’ toys and games from around the world.

Homemade kids’ toys you can make at home

DIY radio

A boy sits with his own homemade radio | DIY homemade kids' toys

Andrea, 11, a World Vision sponsored child in Malawi, is proud of the solar-powered radio he made himself. (©2011 World Vision/photo by Rachael Boyer)


DIY bike

DIY homemade wooden bike

A boy rides a homemade wooden scooter-style bike in Rwanda. (©2013 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)


DIY soccer ball

DIY kids' toys | homemade soccer ball

A group of girls plays soccer in Zambia with a ball made with layers of plastic bags and string. (©2017 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)


DIY baseball gear

DIY kids' toys from around the world | homemade baseball bat and ball, improvised kid toys

Geibel, 6, and his brother Hebeison play baseball in their backyard in the Dominican Republic. A wooden stick is the bat, and a soda bottle serves as the baseball. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Eugene Lee)


DIY tire game

Homemade game from an old tire | DIY toys and games for kids

Aland in Uganda plays one of his favorite games, racing through nearby fields rolling old motorcycle tires. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

DIY mancala game

Boys play a homemade mancala game in the dirt

All you need is dirt and rocks for this game! Boys play nsolo, the Zambian version of mancala. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)


DIY tetherball game

homemade kids' toys - DIY tetherball game, Bolivia

Children in Bolivia play tetherball. The ball, made from a plastic bag densely packed with lots of other plastic bags, is attached to a wooden pole. (©2015 World Vision/photo by Eugene Lee)


DIY truck

DIY kids toys - homemade toy car

13-year-old Felix pushes a homemade truck made of wire and cardboard along a dirt road in Zambia. (©2015 World Vision/photo by Eugene Lee)


DIY toy bus

homemade toy bus made of tin and found items at a refugee camp

A child in a camp for displaced people in Darfur, Sudan, shows his handmade toy bus. (©2006 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

The post DIY homemade kids’ toys from around the world appeared first on World Vision.

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Lopez Lomong has traveled a long way in his life. From a sordid, Sudanese prison camp after he was kidnapped at age 6, he went on to the ornate pavilions of the 2008 Summer Olympic games in Beijing. But one thread flows through it all: running.

As Lopez chronicled in his memoir, “Running for My Life,” he was abducted by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army.  For weeks he was locked in an unsanitary hut in a prison camp with little food. Many boys cooped up with him died during the night.

With the help of three older boys, Lopez escaped. The fugitives ran for three days and crossed into Kenya where they were taken to a refugee camp. Lopez lived in the camp for 10 years.

As a boy, his first love was soccer, but Lopez developed lightning speed as a runner when boys were required to run around the perimeter of the refugee camp before being allowed to play on the camp’s soccer field.

“I ran fast because I loved soccer,” he says.

Lopez was among 20,000 Sudanese children, called the Lost Boys, who were uprooted from their homes in southern Sudan during the second Sudanese civil war.

A new life in America

In 2001, Lopez left the refugee camp in Kenya to be resettled in America. About 4,000 Lost Boys came to the United States that year.

Lopez was adopted by Rob and Barb Rogers of Tully, New York, and settled into suburban America, where he marveled at hot and cold running water and indoor lighting.

As a 16-year-old, he spoke only a smattering of English. His native tongue is Swahili, and he simply answered “yes” to everything. But Lopez was eager to learn, and he graduated from high school on time.

And of course, Lopez kept on running. He was the fastest runner in his high school. Then at Northern Arizona University, he won two NCAA championships. Lopez credits Barb and Rob not only with helping him secure a college education, but regularly attending all his running events — a degree of parental support he says his fellow competitors did not enjoy.

Lopez turned pro in 2007 and became a U.S. citizen in time to qualify for Olympic trials the following year.

In 2008, as a member of the American team, Lopez carried the United States flag for the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Beijing, where he made it into the semifinals of the 1,500 meters. In the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Lopez placed 10th in the men’s 5000 meters race.

Lopez continues to train and travel extensively, both as a competitor and pacer for major international distance competitions.

He is proud of his two brothers, Peter and Alex, who are also runners. They are some of the fastest U.S. collegians for their age. Peter ran for the national champion Northern Arizona cross country team that won the 2018 NCAA Championships. Lopez brought them to the U.S. to pursue their dreams. He jokingly chalks up their success to great genes and the fact that they had three square meals a day, unlike his one meal per day in the Kenya refugee camp.

Giving others a chance

What powers Lopez even more than his passion for running is an even deeper passion to help the most vulnerable people in South Sudan. It’s a passion he shares with his wife, Brittany.

“I was given an opportunity; I was given a chance to tell my story,” Lopez says. “It’s no longer about me. It’s about them. It’s about people going through all these things as we speak: the children who don’t have education, the kids who are dying every day … the poverty that people are going through right now.

“And clean water. Have you ever gone without clean water or even water? And yet there’s people walking 15 to 20 miles to just fetch two gallons of clean water somewhere, and it’s not enough.”

While establishing his career as an outstanding middle distance runner, Lopez started the Lopez Lomong Foundation in late 2011 to give back to his native South Sudan. The foundation joined with World Vision to launch the 4 South Sudan campaign to raise money and awareness to bring clean water, basic healthcare, access to education, and life-saving nutrition to children. Recognizing his advocacy work, Lopez was named the Visa Humanitarian of the Year in 2012.

To date, through the Oregon Hood to Coast relay race — one of the partnership’s fundraising venues — they have raised $2.5 million and set a goal of $1 million in 2018 for the 10 Team World Vision teams competing.

Barb, Lopez’s adoptive mother, said he appreciates how difficult it is when people don’t have choices and opportunities.

“I think that’s why he is trying to make a difference and help others,” Barb says. “Some people want to be known for the sake of being known, that’s not where he is at; that’s not his drive.”

The post Lopez Lomong runs for refugees and clean water appeared first on World Vision.

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Looking for unique baby names? We’ve got you covered with plenty of ideas. Through our humanitarian work and child sponsorship work around the world, World Vision staff members have met many amazing children. Many of thee kids were given some pretty unique names too, and some have great stories behind their names. This is a collection of some of the most unique baby names from around the world.

Gender-neutral baby names from around the world

Some of our favorite unique baby names are actually words and adjectives from the English language. Somehow, when these words become names attached to a smiling child, they become precious, which happens to be one of the names on our list.

Unique names for girls from around the world

Unique names for boys from around the world

  • Doctor (named after the doctor who delivered him in Uganda)
  • Edinson (from El Salvador)
  • France
  • Jisun (from Bangladesh, means “morning sun”)
  • Johaven
  • Jolly (from Uganda)
  • Kendy (from the Dominican Republic)
  • Mandela Nelson (after Nelson Mandela)
  • Marlon (from Honduras)
  • Martine (from Uganda)
  • Mohammed Ali (after the famed boxer)
  • Obama (from Rwanda)
  • Prince
  • Raksmey (from Cambodia, means “ray of light”)
  • Toader (from Romania)
  • Webby

Want to find even more unique baby names from around the world? Check out these adorable photos of babies and children who need sponsors.

Unique baby names from around the world

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