V-Day has set up a V-Fund to benefit women and men on the ground immediately. 100% of donations will go directly to these efforts via GABRIELA and Gabriela Women’s Party. All donations made to the V-Fund will be matched. Please read the below letters from One Billion Rising Director Monique Wilson and V-Day Founder/Artistic Director Eve Ensler, and consider donating whatever you can – every little bit helps.
From Monique in Manila:
As you can see from the news, the destruction from super storm Haiyan (local name Yolanda) was on such a massive scale – the likes of which our country has never seen before. Five million affected in the storms path, a million homeless, 10,000 dead in one city alone (we do not have yet the death toll from other cities and provinces), mass burials because there were not enough body bags, corpses still hanging from the trees or laying on the streets, entire towns wiped out and destroyed. Two thirds of the country was hit and as of today, several of our 7,000 islands have already gone missing from the map. And along with that, entire towns and communities. There is another big storm arriving on Wednesday, and reports of at least three more before Christmas.
The sad news is that so many of our GABRIELA communities – rural and peasant women, fisherfolk and farmers – especially those who lived on the coastal towns – have been affected. Women who led the incredible risings in these villages, towns and cities have lost families, loved ones and lost their homes. GABRIELA is the largest grassroots based womens alliance in the Philippines who provide direct services to women and advocate for their rights.
The country is still in desperate need for help and V-Day and One Billion Rising is calling on all of you, our Rising sisters and brothers, to please donate what you can. V-Day has set up a V-Fund to make donating easy and secure. 100% of the donations will go straight to the local GABRIELA and Gabriela Women’s Party chapters to directly benefit the people on the ground.
Funds raised will be used for a women’s mission in the most affected areas – to provide direct services – food, clothing, shelter, medical and health needs specific to women – as well as psycho-social support for the women survivors. In disasters, even in evacuation centers – we know that sexual violence heightens and we need to ensure the safety and protection of the women and girls.
Despite the horror, the immense sorrow and heartbreak – the Gabriela women from the poorest communities here who have been the worst affected – continue to inspire me. Despite having no homes, no food, no water and nothing at all except their spirit, their will and their hearts – they have been sending me messages to say THE RISING CONTINUES. NOTHING WILL STOP US. They told me “OUR RISING FOR JUSTICE WILL BE BIGGER AND STRONGER THAN THE STORM.”
Thank you my dearest sisters and brothers of my heart. There is much to do – but we are moving forward. We will Rise. And we will continue to Rise and dance in memory of everyone and everything that we have lost – and for the future we are all dreaming for.
Thank you for keeping my beloved country in your embrace. It has meant so much to us.
From Eve in Berlin:
Dear our most generous One Billion Rising and V-Day activists,
The Philippines was the site of one of the biggest risings for One Billion Rising 2013. We need to rise for our sisters and brothers in the Philippines now.
This huge crisis in the Philippines that comes as a result of climate change, and which is a natural and human-made disaster – connects us all. It connects us to people and to the land.
There are so many factors that contribute to a crisis. There is the storm – a natural phenomenon. There is climate change. And there are the things that we are doing to the land, like mining, that are done out of greed. We need to look at what our countries do in the name of profit, that affect the most vulnerable communities around the world in times like this. When the mountains are gone because of mining, what higher ground can people go to during a storm surge?
All of these factors make it even more evident why we need to Rise For Justice. Why we need to Rise right now. Why we need to Rise for the Philippines. And in any natural or environmental disaster, it is the women in the most marginalized, the most oppressed and impoverished communities, who suffer the most.
The need to wake up to what is happening in the Philippines is a major call for the world.
I have traveled the world, far and wide – but I do not know of any organization that is as committed, as radical, as organized and as dedicated to the women in the grassroots communities as GABRIELA in the Philippines. They led the incredible One Billion Risings there. They are on the ground, with the people – and every dime you contribute will get to the women and children affected and their families. Whatever we raise through activist donations, will get matched.
With love and thanks,