In Guiuan, Eastern Samar, the town where Typhoon Haiyan first made landfall in the Philippines, young people, teachers and community members gather to share their stories of survival, resilience and disaster preparedness.

The typhoon, one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, slammed into the Philippines in November 2013, causing widespread devastation and leaving a lasting impact on those affected.

Their stories will form part of MuseoBayanihan — a collaborative digital resource for students and communities to access stories from survivors and educational materials made by teachers.

Experts and scientists did not experience Typhoon Haiyan, we did,” says Natalie, 18. “It is better to learn from real life experiences, instead of just reading from school books.

“We need to share our stories so that Filipinos will learn from our experiences and be better prepared,” 18-year-old Caren agrees.

Natalie and Caren were just 13 when Typhoon Haiyan destroyed their homes in Guiuan. Today, they are some of the young people taking part in a consultation run by MuseoBayanihan.

MuseoBayanihan is one of 40 innovative projects on disaster preparedness supported by Philippines TUKLAS Innovation Labs.

More than 260 proposals were submitted to TUKLAS from 17 regions of the Philippines. Each of the 40 selected innovation teams was provided with training, mentorship and PHP 1 million in funding to test their innovations from March to November 2018.

Being developed by a team of women, MuseoBayanihan will serve as an online learning platform for disaster preparedness. Community activities, such as exhibits and workshops, will also be conducted to complement the platform.

“Children and their communities are at the center of our project and we will work with them as co-designers throughout the entire process. We will also use creative thinking and psychology,” says MuseoBayanihan team leader Kel Almazan.

“Education about disaster risk reduction is new to schools in the Philippines. In far-flung towns like Guiuan, teachers do not have adequate learning materials and support,” explains Lacey Ramos, another team member. “This is where MuseoBayanihan will contribute.”

The TUKLAS initiative is supporting innovative ideas from community-based organizations as well as vulnerable groups, such as children, people with disabilities and indigenous people.

“Our goal is to encourage Filipino girls and boys, women and men, especially those from vulnerable communities, to innovate for their own preparedness,” says Enan Melencio, TUKLAS consortium manager.

Other projects supported by TUKLAS Innovation Labs include Ken, 17, and his team of senior high school students who are designing a surge barrier for a coastal community and Lolita, a woman with a disability, who is implementing an inclusive disaster preparedness plan in her community.

TUKLAS seeks to discover innovative and ground-breaking disaster risk reduction solutions so that Filipino communities are better prepared for future disasters.

Plan International Philippines, Action Against Hunger, CARE Philippines, and the Citizens Disaster Response Centre are leading the implementation of TUKLAS in the Philippines. The project is part of the Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP) Innovation Labs, a global network of labs funded by UK aid and managed collaboratively by Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities (CDAC) and Start Networks.