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Press releases

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Paris, July 24, 2015

The ELLE Foundation: the Philippines in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan

A family home in Iloilo before and after reconstruction by Caméléon.

On 7 and 8 November 2013, typhoon Haiyan hit the eastern Philippines, killing more than 6,000 people. "This was one of the most devastating disasters the country has ever experienced, with winds peaking at over 300 km/h," recalls Laurence Ligier, president and founder of Caméléon, a partner NPO of the Elle Foundation that protects and educates young girls from Iloilo who have been subjected to sexual abuse on Panay Island in the centre of the Philippine archipelago.

Even though emergency humanitarian aid is not Caméléon's main activity, the NPO mobilized all its resources to help stricken families who lost everything they had in a few hours.

The ELLE Foundation of course encouraged this outpouring of solidarity and contributed to the project aimed at rebuilding the victims' houses.

More than a year after typhoon Haiyan hit land, Caméléon has helped 320 families move safely back into their homes, which were rebuilt to meet earthquake standards. The NPO took advantage of the construction work to install toilets in all the houses, thus enhancing the safety of the girls, who until then had to venture away from the house to relieve themselves, despite the danger of going out alone.

Mutual aid was the watchword of this major reconstruction project. All the families not only helped with the renovation of their own homes but of those of their neighbours as well, under the supervision of foremen recruited by Caméléon.

Thanks to our partner, all the children assisted by the NPO, as well as their brothers and sisters, were able to continue to attend school during this turbulent period.

The ELLE Foundation wishes to thank Caméléon for successfully reinventing itself by responding to the emergency while continuing its actions on behalf of vulnerable young girls, in the spirit of solidarity and with the hope of a better tomorrow.

The ELLE Foundation