Stories from the Field: Hacelmae Escobido

UNICEF and Action Against Hunger Philippines are providing life-saving WASH support for affected families in Caraga region.

Action Against Hunger Philippines
Hacelmae sits along the shore of Baybay, Burgos in Siargao.
Action Against Hunger Philippines/Benjie Montilla
05 April 2022

Before Super Typhoon Odette made landfall in Siargao, Hacelmae Escobido and her family had already evacuated to the nearby school in their area. With the typhoon's destructive strong winds, it was fortunate enough that the room where they stayed was the only room left undamaged by Typhoon Odette. “I’m grateful that my family and I were safe,” she shares after recalling the ordeal they went through.

Hacelmae was only 3 months old when she was taken in by her adoptive parents who are also distant relatives of her birth parents. Her adoptive father works as a carpenter, while her adoptive mother takes care of their home.

“I’m grateful that my family and I were safe.”

Hacelmae, 11
Action Against Hunger staff interviews Hacelmae in her home.
Action Against Hunger Philippines/Benjie Montilla
Action Against Hunger staff interviews Hacelmae in her home.

At 11 years old, Hacelmae is already enrolled as a junior high school student. “I want to become a police officer to serve and protect my community,” she shares. When she is not in school, she normally spends her day helping at the rice farm.

With the support of UNICEF and UN CERF, Hacelmae’s family was one of the 221 households in Barangay Baybay that received emergency water, sanitation, and hygiene support last February 4, 2022.

“I want to become a police officer to serve and protect my community”

Hacelmae, 11
Hacelmae arrives at her home after spending the morning helping out at the rice farm.
Action Against Hunger Philippines/Benjie Montilla
Hacelmae arrives at her home after spending the morning helping out at the rice farm.

The Super Typhoon Odette Emergency WASH Response in Caraga is implemented by Action Against Hunger with funding from the United Nations Central Emergency Fund (UN CERF) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Philippines. ###