What can the youth do to help in the wake of a disaster?

Published November 5, 2020, 2:29 PM

by Vianca Gamboa

Illustration by ANGELO MANALO

Cast off that helpless feeling, there are so many things we can do, big and small, to help our countrymen

The strongest storm this 2020 struck us right in the middle of the country during the pandemic. It left thousands of Filipinos struggling to regain composure. In the wake of the recent Typhoon Rolly, internationally known as Goni, disaster, the majority of Bicol and parts of Batangas were destroyed. 20 people have been proclaimed dead, and thousands of Filipinos are waiting for relief. 

The youth may find a lingering feeling of helplessness as they scroll past visuals of the aftermath. But you aren’t in fact helpless, there are things you can do about it. Here are a few ways you can make a difference and help: 

Don’t romanticize resiliency

This age-old virtue of Filipinos has become well-known all over the world. We are “resilient” people. But if you look closer you’ll realize it’s not all smiles and strength—in fact, it shouldn’t revolve around that. Resiliency as a virtue in the middle of a typhoon-stricken, even poverty-laden, place is nothing but a commercial excuse. 

Bayanihan is a good thing. Eclipsing the real suffering of our people, however, is not. So if you post about the aftermath of Typhoon Rolly, break the resiliency narrative.

Donate and volunteer

Twitter has certainly been doing its thing with donation drives for different purposes have been going around since January. You don’t have to pitch in a lot but you can tap into various organizations (and even fandom accounts) that cater to different areas affected by Typhoon Rolly so you can reach more people. Some are even asking for extra helping hands to assist in packing goods and disseminating information. 

If you have a GCash or bank account, you can also host the fundraiser yourself and share the deets with your friends and mutuals. 


Use your talent

Merge your passions and compassion into something more tangible. Your copywriting skills may spark a call to action among netizens, or your vector graphics may help get those copies across in a more visually-appealing way. You can even create a Facebook pubmat and curate a list of donation drives, or accept art commissions to raise funds for a cause.