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The Children of Haiyan, Their Playgrounds and Their Dreams

02/07/2014
Earlier this June, I went to Tacloban, the city that was most affected by typhoon HAIYAN (which hit Philippines 8months ago). I was lucky to be given the chance to be part of a photography grant and fieldwork created by the Goethe Institut. The task was to cover the theme: Climate Change: "Be Aware, Take Care", in the city of Tacloban from June 8-15, 2014.
For my project, I decided to feature children who survived typhoon Haiyan, as they continue to live their colorful childhood life. I visited the survivors, and had the chance to get in their tents (temporary shelters), and to talk and to bond with some children from different parts of Tacloban and even from the nearby towns like Dulag. I met around 30 children with different stories. Some lost their parents and siblings, most lost entirely their homes and things, and some were really ill and traumatized. I asked the children to share something about their experiences in the tent and also asked them to draw me something about what they look forward, something they want, or something they dream about as of that moment. I was not surprised, most of them drew houses. I also took photos of the places they frequent for playing or what I consider their improvised "playgrounds". In my project, I wanted to show the impact of the typhoon Haiyan in their development as children. I wanted to show how they were gracefully coping up with their basic needs and rights and one of which was to play. I wanted them to express how their visions and dreams were affected, which was obvious in their drawings. I wanted to expose an inspiring yet a moving set of stories from the aftermath of Haiyan.
I hope that through our love for the children and for the generations to come, we would be awaken and realize that it is not yet to late to save our earth from catastrophes that may be brought by CLIMATE CHANGE. I believe that our initiatives would soon spark questions, concerns, and hopefully, CHANGE.
Allan Jay Quesada
Manila, Philippines

 


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