On 8 November 2013, super typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) turned millions of Filipinos' lives upside down, taking over 6 000 lives and destroying houses, schools, essential infrastructure and entire communities in its wake. As is often the case in natural disasters and conflicts, the crisis had an especially devastating impact on children, wiping away their schools and their homes, breaking apart families and decimating their hopes and dreams for the future.
In this creative art book project, "Rebuilding Dreams" or "An Panhibalik Han Mga Pangaghap" in the local Waray-Waray language of the Eastern Visayas region, we showcase the reconstruction efforts of Plan International's Emergency Response Unit as supported by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO). The project emphasises the typhoon's psycho-social effects on children, which are often difficult to measure and largely invisible or intangible amidst the physical devastation of a disaster.
The story was written by a young artist from Tacloban City, and the collection of illustrations is the collaborative artistic interpretation of 21 children who survived the typhoon. Their creative outputs speak to the children's traumatic experiences, their notions of devastation in the past and their renewed dreams and aspirations for the future.