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Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP)

Iligan City Philippines
February 2012

Grant Description

In January UAF received a request from the Rural Women’s Apostolate group of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines to ensure that women’s voices would be heard in the post-typhoon rehabilitation program in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City. This region of the Philippines is reeling from typhoon Washi which hit in December 2011 and killed more than 1,000 people, displacing hundreds of thousands more. RMP is a previous grantee that works in various parts of the Philippines, and this request comes from the Northern Mindanao chapter, which organizes rural poor women for agrarian reform, provides psycho-social therapy, and documents human rights violations against women peasants. In the aftermath of the typhoon, while the UN and NGOs began to conduct relief efforts, RMP identified women’s needs that were not being met and conducted a campaign to raise money to distribute nutrition for pregnant women, hygiene kits, and underwear.

For this request, funds are to be used to organize consultations with relief agencies to identify and address the specific needs of women in each evacuation center, as well as to establish a grassroots Women Survivors Collective to empower women recovering from the typhoon. RMP also plans to broadcast a radio show and poster campaign to raise awareness about the issue of trafficking which tends to intensify during disaster situations. Two regional advisors recommend supporting this grant and contributing to “upholding women human rights in disaster management.

Impact Report

Funds were used to ensure the participation of women in post-disaster efforts in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities after the December 2011 typhoon that hit Mindanao. RMP organized 57 women survivors’ groups (out of the target 55) in evacuation centers. These groups ensured that women were empowered and involved in camp management as well as consultations regarding rehabilitation efforts. They also functioned as a grassroots monitor of trafficking cases in the camps. For their advocacy campaign, RMP facilitated 17 weekly radio programs (greatly surpassing their original goal of 8 programs). The programs highlighted women’s issues in evacuation centers and advocated for a humanitarian response that included women in all consultations concerning community rehabilitation. The funds also supported two simultaneous rallies for International Women’s days where 4,000 women survivors participated in the march. The work of RMP with women survivors will continue through the support of other international donors that are committed to prioritizing gender issues in the post- disaster recovery in northern Mindanao.