EcoWaste Coalition Collects Safe Toys for Child Victims of Monster Typhoon Yolanda

Photo by Dennis M. Sabangan/EPA
environmental organization has launched a toy drive to assist child survivors
of super typhoon Yolanda in easing the anxiety and trauma they have gone

Through a press release, the EcoWaste Coalition invited the private and public
sectors to share new or used toys, as well as books for kids, to replace what
typhoon Yolanda has mercilessly taken away from the children.

The group made the appeal ahead of the Universal Children’s Day on November 20,
which commemorates the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of the Child
in 1959 and the signing of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, which
affirms that “state parties recognize the right of the child to rest and
leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age
of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.”

“While we know that the support and encouragement from adults is key to
enabling affected kids cope with the mounting death and despair around them, we
believe that books to read and toys to play with can help them face the tragedy
with more hopefulness,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste

“In the absence of child counselors and therapists in many of the
typhoon-wrecked communities, and with the support systems in churches, schools and
villages still in disarray, it’s important for these kids to have something to
cheer them up amid the destruction,” she said.

“We already have few boxes of clean toys from our previous toy sampling
activities, and we hope to gather more to make more kids feel that they are
cared about,” she also said.

Lucero reminded donors not to give broken toys as such toys might only hurt the
kids or add to negative emotions instead of instilling positive attitudes among

She also requested donors to refrain from giving toys made of polyvinyl
chloride (PVC) plastic, particularly things that kids can put into their mouths,
to avoid potential ingestion of phthalates and other harmful chemical

The EcoWaste Coalition will screen the toy donations for chemical, choking,
laceration and strangulation hazards before sending them to child survivors through
church, community or professional associations.

The group, in particular, will use a portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF)
spectrometer to determine if the toys given are safe from toxic metals such as
cadmium, lead and mercury.

The EcoWaste Coalition will receive toy and book donations until November 30,
2013, which can be sent to their office at Unit 329, Eagle Court, 26 Matalino
St., Barangay Central, Quezon City.

Meanwhile, another Quezon City-based environmental group promoting zero waste is
accepting cash donations until December 31, 2013 for the purchase of carpentry
kits to help typhoon survivors rebuild their homes.

The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) has initiated the drive
to help families reconstruct their houses by providing them with carpentry kits
consisting of a standard hammer, a kilo of nails, plier, handsaw and 100 feet
of nylon rope.

“In the recovery phase, the common need of survivor families is to rebuild
their homes, most of which are made of wooden exterior walls, bamboo or wooden
posts and flooring, and corrugated iron sheet or else grass roofs,” the group

“Many families however that have moved more quickly to recovery lack the basic
carpentry tools for these types of materials,” it observed.

GAIA therefore decided to focus on soliciting and accepting donations for these
basic tools, and along with it, to send out a suggestion that usable materials
from destroyed houses and buildings can be reused to rebuild homes.

To donate, please visit www.no-burn.org