REBUILDING SAFE, RESILIENT SCHOOLS IN AREAS IMPACTED BY NATURAL DISASTERS
Happy Hearts Fund is active in 10 countries and has rebuilt 130 schools that were damaged or destroyed by natural disasters!
It’s All In The Numbers
Happy Hearts Fund rebuilds safe, resilient schools in areas impacted by natural disasters. We work when children are most likely to be forgotten—during the gap period after emergency response is complete—to bring hope and empowerment to generations of children and entire communities.
Happy Hearts Fund was created by Petra Nemcova as a response to the devastating effects of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Today, HHF is active in 10 countries—Nepal, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico, Peru, Haiti, Chile, Philippines, Colombia, and the USA—where it has built 162 schools that have served over 99,500 students and impacted 613,000 community members.
HHF In the Phillipines : A Summary
WHY HHF INTERVENTION IS NEEDED IN THE PHILIPPINES The frequency of natural disasters in the country has cost billions of dollars, and countless lives have been lost. The Philippines ranks second in the world in mortality risk to tropical cyclones (typhoons), second in the number of people exposed to typhoons, and second the in number of people exposed to earthquakes. It ranks fifth in the number of people living in areas potentially affected by tsunamis. The lack of resources needed to prepare for natural disasters and to rehabilitate communities in their aftermath furthers the cycle of poverty, which then leaves the country unprepared for future disasters—creating a second destructive cycle. Direct costs from natural disasters (i.e. destruction of infrastructure and farmlands, disruption in businesses etc.) lower a country’s annual gross domestic product by .8% on average. At the same time that natural disasters have negative effects on a country’s economy, poverty increases the possible losses a country may suffer from the disaster. According to a report by the UN in 2013, the Philippines has consistently experienced financing gaps because of natural disasters, i.e. the country’s 2013 national disaster budget, amounting to about 128 million euros ($171 million), was used up even before super typhoon Haiyan hit. The infrastructure and industrial facilities in countries like the Philippines are also more easily damaged, says the same UN report, due to weaker building structures and materials. The evidence shows that weak infrastructure not only disrupts businesses but also classes, which leads to long-term indirect effects to the economy. According to a UNICEF report concentrated high impact disasters lead to increase in dropout rates, reduced achievement rates and reduced survival of students in school.
IMPACT OF A HAPPY HEARTS INTERVENTION HHF can help avert the loss of instructional time, when students would be unproductive and parents would have had to stop working or to arrange care for their children. Averting the loss of instructional hours by rebuilding resilient schools can only have the effect of increased literacy rates. Rebuilding schools is also a form of investment in the country’s economy. Construction of schools in the Philippines will involve the purchase of materials and tools and the payment of workers’ salaries. HHF can help restart businesses, provide jobs and thus contribute to the growth and stimulation of the economy. Without a doubt, there is a unique opportunity for Happy Hearts Fund to not just help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan and other natural disasters in the Philippines but to also help push the country towards sustainable economic growth that will end its poverty in the long run.