Disasters & Projects

Philippines: One Year Post-Yolanda

november 2013
November 2013


November 2014
November 2014

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One Year Snapshot

59 repaired houses
116 newly constructed houses

19 new buildings
39 new classrooms
89 repaired/renovated buildings
189 repaired classrooms

18 repaired Kindergartens
5 newly constructed Kindergartens

142 hectare land cultivated
introduction of organic farming
municipal demonstration farm revived
construction of 2 farmers’ training center buildings
construction of 3 nursery buildings, structures for composting/vermi-culture
construction of labs, seed banks, storages

Child Friendly Spaces in 11 villages
trauma healing for 330 children and mothers

Over one year has passed since 200 mph winds wreaked havoc on the coastal belt of East Samar in the Philippines. From the beginning, AMURT has worked in close collaboration with government authorities and the people themselves to play its part in rebuilding shattered lives.

Back to school

AMURT’s reconstruction teams, under the capable leadership of local civil engineers, have built 39 new classrooms and repaired 189 classrooms in 108 schools, making it an important implementing organization in East Samar. AMURT’s efficiency and excellence have attracted visits from high ranking officials. Both the president of the Philippines and the secretary general of education have visited our project to witness the achievements and offer their appreciation for the way AMURT prioritized the need to get children back to school.

AMURT has adopted the motto, popularized after the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, of “building back better.” So, not only did AMURT rebuild and repair, but it upgraded entire school campuses, replacing all termite-infested wooden structures, for example, and even repainting the flagpoles.

In addition, AMURT has renovated or constructed 23 daycare centers, transforming dark and cramped facilities into cheerful, light-filled centers of learning.

Safe new houses for typhoon-affected families.
Safe new houses for typhoon-affected families.

Home sweet home

AMURT construction teams have been rebuilding individual homes in the barangays of Agnaya and Asgad. A total of 116 homes are being rebuilt and 59 homes are being repaired. 60% of the beneficiaries, selected through a lottery system, have started moving into these permanent structures that are built to resist powerful storms.

AMURT offered the beneficiaries design choices, to give their homes a personalized feel. Hence, people could opt for terraces, or bigger living spaces, or more windows. In this way AMURT accommodated individual needs, providing people with a sense control over rebuilding their lives.

This reconstruction project was made possible through the tireless endeavor of the mayor of Salcedo to secure suitable land for the houses. Many of the beneficiaries lived too close to the ocean, in what has now been declared a “no build zone,” and had no choice but to relocate.

AMURT has forged a highly productive relationship with the mayor and his team in what has become an exemplary private-public partnership. Right from the beginning, when AMURT was still mobilizing resources, the spirit of cooperation prevailed, with the mayor providing AMURT with vehicles and warehouse space.

The demonstration farm provides farmers with new technologies and new possibilities.
The demonstration farm provides farmers with new technologies and new possibilities.

Strengthening the base

An estimated 33 million coconut trees were destroyed, by Typhoon Yolanda, wiping out the livelihood of many already poor famers. Given that coconut trees take 6 – 9 years to grow to maturity, an alternative source of income is crucial. AMURT has been in a dialogue with the Department of Agriculture of Salcedo municipality, and the farmers themselves, to find alternative solutions.

AMURT rebuilt and improved the municipal demonstration farm, which serves as a source of seeds and organic fertilizers for local farmers (with the capacity to generate 20 tons of fertilizer each month). Moreover, the training facility built by AMURT will provide the farmers with new farming methods such as compost making and integrated pest management. AMURT sees the demonstration farm as a catalyst for sustainable agricultural development.

AMURT staff worked with local farmers to form 33 new farmers’ associations, and to unite all the associations into a farmers’ federation that serves 1900 farmers. The federation distributes essential farming inputs to the farmers, and purchases and markets their produce, thereby cutting out the middle men so more profits go to the farmers themselves. This was a crucial step as the Department of Agriculture will only fund farmers who organize themselves into a federation.

Typhoon Relief Response in Philippines

Thousands of people are feared to have been killed when Super-Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines early Friday morning with winds reaching as much as 310km/h (195mph), possibly the strongest ever to hit the country.

AMURT & AMURTEL were already engaged in earthquake recovery in the area and immediately began typhoon relief. Read more

Syria Crisis Response 2013 Report


 1 Year Snapshot

  • School support for 550 kids
  • 3,000 refugees kept warm
  • 15,000 refugees given food
  • Facilitated 1,000 families’ refugee status

Over 1 million Syrians fleeing the war have poured into Lebanon so far: more than to any other country. This generous nation of only 4 million people has limited capacity to deal with a refugee influx of this scale. Yet, as fighting intensifies, the number of innocent civilians affected continues to grow.

AMURT Lebanon extends emergency relief to Syrian refugees and helps them to get their children back to school. Food, blankets, mattresses and hygiene kits are supplied from AMURT’s warehouse. The team also works to ensure families can weather the harsh mountain winter by providing and installing new heating stoves for the most needy and distributing fuel they can burn. Only 15% of refugee children in Lebanon are in school. So AMURT supports local schools to increase their capacity, then provides fees, bus transport and clothing to give the most vulnerable families access to education for their children.[one_half]

Back to School

Innocent children are suffering most as a result of the Syrian war that began more than two years ago. Many have gone without education for a long period since the outbreak of fighting and the vast majority of refugees streaming into Lebanon remain outside the school system.


AMURT pays school fees and arranges transport for refugees spread throughout the mountains in a scheme sponsored by Kinder Not Hilfe (Germany). It is a vital help to get these youngsters back into school, where they can experience social inclusion, stimulation and a stable routine to help soothe the horrors of war and dislocation. AMURT also engages psycho-social specialists to assist their healing process and conducts teacher training to provide children a broader support network.

The joy of not being left out: being able to wear a school uniform.

Education: Hope for the Future

Last year, this Syrian girl’s parents had to choose which of their children to educate, as they couldn’t afford the expenses for all of them. Teachers recognised she was unusually gifted, and requested she stay in school, helping as they could. She adapted quickly to the Lebanese curriculum, which employs less Arabic, and proceeded to excel in all her subjects. This year, due to AMURT’s intervention, she is fully registered in school along with all of her siblings. AMURT also provided text books and their very first school uniforms.


Help for Struggling Schools

Many Lebanese schools were already struggling before the enormous wave of refugees. Now refugees fill 30% of the classes in some schools, which is becoming a considerable burden on resources. Upgrading essential equipment is one way AMURT helps schools cater for newly arrived Syrians.


The Joy of Belonging: Wearing a School Uniform

Children affected by the trauma of war and being uprooted from their former life require quick re-establishment of an educational routine and psycho-social support to regain a normal development path.

Winter Relief


To help vulnerable refugee families though the bitterly cold mountain winter, AMURT is distributing heating stoves and fuel on behalf of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.


Harsh Conditions

This family is smaller than most, but endures harsh conditions all too common. Referred to AMURT by the local municipality, they live in a 10m2 section of a concrete shed used for farm machinery. There is no window glass, just holes, and no running water. They collect water from a spring 200m away; bathing and toilet are outdoors. The mother, when already 9 months pregnant with her second child, slipped and fell in the icy cold: the baby did not survive. The father works long hours for the farmer, earning under $5 a day.


Winter Stoves

Weather forecasters predict an especially cold winter this year for Lebanon’s mountains, where snowfall of 2 meters occurs in some areas.

Fuel-burning stoves are essential items, particularly for the many families living in poor housing or caring for a relative with a medical condition.

Motherless children

Motherless Children

Two girls now in their grandmother’s care, who explains how their mother died in a bombing just one hour after giving birth to the younger child. She points to the eldest. “She kept asking for her mother for one month; but after that she came close to me.” Their father remains in hospital in Syria.


Food Distribution

Refugees just arriving from Syria often lack even the most basic essentials. AMURT provides all who reach Chouf District with certain emergency assistance they may require: ranging from food to blankets, mattresses, and special kits for hygiene or baby needs.

AMURT is the main international NGO based in upper Chouf and works with village coordinators, municipalities and local and international NGOs. In addition to international support personnel, AMURT Lebanon has a ready pool of dedicated local staff and volunteers: team members include Lebanese and displaced Syrians, who have a strong desire to ease the suffering of their country-folk.

According to the UN, this is the worst refugee crisis for 20 years. More can and must be done. AMURT is uniquely positioned to make a difference. Your help will make that possible.

Help expand services for the flood of new refugees seeking assistance: make a secure online donation now.

More photos on Facebook

Tax deduction info here


Himalaya floods

Uttarakhand Update and Banking info

18 workers and volunteers of AMURT and 10 workers and volunteers of AMURTEL have distributed two trucks loaded materials consisting of 20 quintals of rice, 18 quintals of flour, 4 quintals of pulse, 150 cartoons of mineral water, 5500 pieces of torches, 800 blankets, 150 cartoons of clothes (Saris shirts and children’s wear) milk powders, tea leafs, soaps, juice, towels etc. in the worst affected villages such as Agust muni, Chandrapara, vijayawada, Falayi, Gangapur, Sitapuri, Baniary, Chaka etc of Gupt Kashi Area (Kedarnath) of Uttarakhand.

Your help to Uttarakhand victims in kind or cash will be highly appreciated. Following In charges may be contacted.

1. Ac. Raviprakashananda Avadhuta (Sectorial AMURT Coordinator) is based now near Agust muni in Rudraprayag. mobile number : 08449057629

2. Ac. Devakripananda Avadhuta (RS) Allahabad camping at Haridwar, Mobile- 09897619190

Name of the beneficiary : Acharya Devakripananda

Name of the Bank : State Bank of India, Vidhansabha Marg Branch, Luckhnow.

Account no. 30695868369, IFSC ISBN No: 0060284, Branch code : 60284

3. Sri Chakradhar Prasad (Shastriji) Haridwar- (AMURT Incharge) Mobile- 09997087456

Chakradhar Prasad

State Bank Of India Ranipur Branch , Haridwar

Account No. 10667850376.


Photos are here    |  International donation link is here



Syria Crisis Response – 2012 report

Since September 20th 2012 AMURT has run case management services for Syrian refugees in the Chouf district of Lebanon. Through house visits and interviews, AMURT has so far identified 355 Syrian refugee families in 23 locations who are urgently in need of assistance. Most of these families are in apartments, often staying in clusters of families or with host families. Of these, 294 different families had by December 2012 received assistance in the form of food, school fees, clothes, bedding or medicine; some receiving several of these services. Read more

Syria crisis response

The Syrian crisis has led to a large number of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and refugees. At the end of September this figure stood at around 2 million IDPs in Syria and 400,000 refugees in neighboring countries. Most of these people depend on humanitarian assistance, or sharing host families’ dwindling resources to meet basic needs. This figure is growing daily and has led to a doubling of people in need in the last couple of months.

AMURT & AMURTEL has local volunteers in Syria and Lebanon distributing food, non-food items and providing assistance with medical and educational needs. In Lebanon, AMURT runs case management services for refugee families hosted by their friends and relatives in the mountain villages overlooking Beirut. The AMURT team selects the most urgent cases and works patiently to meet their individual needs, be they getting a child admitted to a local school, finding a hospital willing to provide urgent medical care or connecting them with larger agencies and their services. .

Many of the refugees have harrowing tales to tell. Mohammed, a grandfather, took shelter with relatives in western Syria, but had trouble even getting bread as the streets were too dangerous to enter. He used his savings to pay an extortionate fee to a driver to take him across the border. “It was like escaping from jail,” Mohammed said. “The driver took a lot of money because we could die in the street.” We have organized much-needed medical supplies and winter items for Mohammed and his family.

AMURT is appealing for funds to meet the needs of the increasing numbers of refugees seeking our assistance.

Download current proposal: Syrian refugees in Lebanon – general proposal  (version 3 – October 29)

During home visits AMURT representatives talks to refugee families about their needs and opportunities in Lebanon.

Zahraa and her family arrived in Lebanon as refugees from Syria a month ago. For the first two weeks they stayed at a construction site but are now in temporary housing. AMURT helped Zahraa to go to school and provided her family with bedding and other necessities for the winter.

On November 18 AMURT gave 115 Syrian refugee families 40 kilos of food items, 10 kilos of baby food and 10 kilos of non-food household items.

More photos on Facebook

AMURT is appealing for funds to meet the needs of the increasing numbers of refugees seeking our assistance.

Make a donation to the Syria Crisis Response safely online today!

Tax deduction info here

Manila Floods

In the Philippines local AMURT & AMURTEL volunteers responded to massive floods in early August in and around Manila. Throughout the month they distributed cooked food, bread, drinking water, and hygiene items to more than 10,000 people. Read more

AMURT Romania 2012 News

Direction of activities resulted in a microcosm of society, a “micro-company school” where the youth were exposed to the outside world through their own activities of rudimentary company management. Starting with “Design and Planning” department and executing the plans through other departments, made the learning fun, challenging and interesting. Read more