Colorful pails, mats cheer displaced children in Albay

With no dolls nor small cars to play with, colorful sleeping mats and pails became the temporary toys and joys of displaced children in evacuation centers in Albay.

"Wow!Beautiful!" Totot, 14, exclaimed upon seeing the yellow green mat and bright red pail his uncle was carrying to their room.  




"Arethese all ours?," Jenny, 9, excitedly asked her mother when she saw her carrying pink sleeping mat to their room. 




Younger children play with bright-colored puzzle mats, figuring out how they could fasten together each puzzle piece. 




Parents, on the other hand, tinker with the flashlights. "This will be helpful during power cuts which happen every now and then," Naldo, 38, said. 




Thousands of displaced children have been living evacuation centers since the Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) alerted several communities on possible eruption of Mt. Mayon, a famous perfect-coned volcano in Albay, east of the Philippines. 




In partnership with USAID, distribution of relief items containing pails, dippers, flashlights, bath and laundry soaps, and sleeping mats to more than 5,800 families are ongoing in 13 evacuation centers in Guinobatan, Camalig, Sto. Domingo and Daraga. 




"We are also working on construction of community kitchen and toilets and repairs of water facilities that evacuees can use during their indefinite stay inevacuation centers. These facilities are the expressed needs of the evacuees and evacuation center managers when we asked them during our assessment,"Dilsy Arbutante, World Vision Mayon Emergency Response Officer, shared. 




Mayon Alert Level3 is still in effect in Albay as the government continues to keep families from going back to their homes within the 6-8 kilometer danger zone around Mayon volcano. There are 12,000 families who are still living in 49 evacuation centers in Albay, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported. 


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