On Friday November 8, the Philippines was hit hard by Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda. Measured as the strongest storm in recorded history, entire communities in the eastern region of the Visayan Islands have been completely destroyed. Currently, it is estimated that roughly 2,500 people have been killed, and more than 10,000 have been injured and displaced.

As the international community expresses an outpouring of support and concern, it is critical for us to remain aware of what the people of the Philippines need right now. Reports from around the world have shown us before and after photos of the hardest hit areas, and videos reveal the sheer volume of citizens vying for medical assistance, clean water or even simply reaching peace of mind by finding and burying lost loved ones.

As a Filipino-American, I personally feel very strongly connected to those affected. Upon hearing about the devastation that Typhoon Haiyan caused, I desperately wanted to do something more, but felt very helpless from my place across the world. Thankfully,  social media efforts today have allowed sympathizers like myself to quickly mobilize and contribute to the relief effort for large scale natural disasters. A simple tweet or a click on a reliable website makes donations happen in as little as five minutes. Additionally, fundraising events across the country are arranged instantly, creating even more spaces for community members to raise money and increase awareness. To date, 33 nations have pledged almost $1 billion dollars towards the relief efforts, but many survivors are still left in need of food, clean water, and shelter. There is still so much work to be done.

We encourage you to make donations and provide support through trustworthy organizations that community organizers on the ground have vouched for. Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Center (PBV) has set up the “Typhoon Haiyan (#30) Emergency Relief Fund” to support the affected communities across the Philippines. We are in close contact with local Non-Governmental Organisations on the ground and will post all up-to-date information on our website. We would truly appreciate your support of our relief activities – please DONATE to support those affected by Typhoon Haiyan (#30). Please make donations by visiting our website here:

For more information on Peace Boat’s Disaster Relief Volunteer Center visit: http://peaceboat.jp/relief/

By Trixie Cordova (Peace Boat US Volunteer)