More than two months after Super Typhoon Yolanda left in its wake a horrible picture of despair in an unimaginable proportion, Tacloban City folks has still to grapple with the harsh reality so profound that normalcy will not come to them soon.
Thousands are still left emotionally crippled and physically drained by the strongest typhoon on record. More than 6,000 perished that left deep scars that may never heal for many.
The disaster might have devastated an already impoverished community but one thing good emerged from amidst the destruction. Within hours from the tragedy, the international communities sprang into action to come to the aid of their stricken fellowmen by sending material support even if the host county was not prepared for them because of shock from the typhoon’s magnitude.
Reconstruction and rehabilitation would be an arduous and expensive tasks that would put to extreme test the ability of the those involved in the long process. However, many who have committed themselves have remained up to task and pursue their mission knowing how indispensable their work is in hastening the people’s return to normalcy.
USC’s Dr. Annalisa Enrile Leads Relief and Training Mission
One of the participants to the relief efforts to help the typhoon victims was Annalisa Enrile of the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work who was part of the relief mission and training session in the Philippines. USC was requested by their NGO counterparts in the Philippines for their help in providing disaster response training and technical support.
Enrile is one of the few Filipinas in social work and has committed herself advocating for social issues that important to the Filipino-Americans and is “an integral member of USC humanitarian mission, connecting the team with leaders and grassroots organizations in the Philippines to build a sustainable partnership for relief efforts.” USC has a long history of working with the Philippines.
Enrile, who is a Clinical Associate Professor at USC and holds a PhD from the University of California, is one of the few Filipina with PhD in social work who chose the field “as a way to bring to light important social issues in the Filipino-American community.” She has served as a voice against sex trafficking, anti-militarization and exploitative migrant labor.
She has been recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipinas in the World for being a voice for equity and global justice and has worked with students, communities and academic partners “to create social change through innovation and collaboration.”
Enrile leads the Philippines immersion program in USC and has “developed the experiential learning opportunity as a more tangible means to study and chronicle human rights violations.” Her projects seek to help students understand how social work theory work through actual hands-on experience and apply their skill in the U.S.
Enrile is also active in community organizations that include serving on several anti-trafficking task forces, and being on the board of Mariposa Center for Change that serves women and children of color. She also lends her time to other organizations like the coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), YWCA Greater Los Angeles, and Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA).