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Stories

Latest stories from IPPF

Spotlight

A selection of stories from across the Federation

Humanitarian response team, Fiji.
Story

In pictures: Humanitarian photographers share their experiences of storytelling in the field

IPPF’s localized approach to humanitarian emergencies is led by our Member Associations' response teams and whenever possible, we deploy local photographers.
Chathurika, Sri Lanka
story

| 16 August 2018

Inspiring young people like Chathurika play a crucial role in crisis response

In May 2017, flash flooding in Sri Lanka triggered landslides resulting in many people losing their homes, forcing them to seek shelter in camps. IPPF’s member association the Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka (FPASL) assisted those affected and provided health camps with the support of IPPF Humanitarian. Chathurika Jayalath, a youth volunteer for FPASL, took part in the response. Chathurika is a 24-year-old student from Kegalle, a large town about 80 km from Colombo, and she has been working with FPASL for the last three years. She started out as a youth volunteer and recently became a member of the Youth Technical Advisory Committee. During her engagement with FPASL, Chathurika has learned about sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender issues and has organized workshops on similar topics in her own community. In fact, she runs a youth club at her university to inform her peers about SRHR.  Shortly after the floods began, Chathurika received a WhatsApp message from FPASL where they called for youth volunteers to take part in the response.  “I wanted to volunteer during the response,” Chathurika told us. “As a university student I didn’t have money to donate so I figured I could contribute with my strength instead. I volunteered in the health camp. There, I assisted the medical staff with basic things such mobilizing affected people, making sure they queued up when seeking health care and packed medicine.” Ongoing SRHR needs, even in a crisis Chathurika is keen to learn more about humanitarian work. She received training with FPASL on the needs of people in humanitarian settings in which she and other trainees were presented with different case studies. “There was particularly one story that struck me. We were told that when the flash floods came, women fled without anything, they fled with the only pair of clothes they were wearing,” recalls Chathurika. “When they reached the camp, they received donated water and food. Some of them got their period while living in the camp. They did not have any sanitary pads nor additional cloths. Some of them even fled without underwear. This story made me realize that people’s SRHR needs don’t disappear just because there is a crisis.” Youth empowerment is important to Chathurika and she would like to continue this work while learning more about development and humanitarian work. She is a firm believer “that young people can contribute. Through my own experience I have seen that it is possible.”   

Chathurika, Sri Lanka
story

| 25 September 2022

Inspiring young people like Chathurika play a crucial role in crisis response

In May 2017, flash flooding in Sri Lanka triggered landslides resulting in many people losing their homes, forcing them to seek shelter in camps. IPPF’s member association the Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka (FPASL) assisted those affected and provided health camps with the support of IPPF Humanitarian. Chathurika Jayalath, a youth volunteer for FPASL, took part in the response. Chathurika is a 24-year-old student from Kegalle, a large town about 80 km from Colombo, and she has been working with FPASL for the last three years. She started out as a youth volunteer and recently became a member of the Youth Technical Advisory Committee. During her engagement with FPASL, Chathurika has learned about sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender issues and has organized workshops on similar topics in her own community. In fact, she runs a youth club at her university to inform her peers about SRHR.  Shortly after the floods began, Chathurika received a WhatsApp message from FPASL where they called for youth volunteers to take part in the response.  “I wanted to volunteer during the response,” Chathurika told us. “As a university student I didn’t have money to donate so I figured I could contribute with my strength instead. I volunteered in the health camp. There, I assisted the medical staff with basic things such mobilizing affected people, making sure they queued up when seeking health care and packed medicine.” Ongoing SRHR needs, even in a crisis Chathurika is keen to learn more about humanitarian work. She received training with FPASL on the needs of people in humanitarian settings in which she and other trainees were presented with different case studies. “There was particularly one story that struck me. We were told that when the flash floods came, women fled without anything, they fled with the only pair of clothes they were wearing,” recalls Chathurika. “When they reached the camp, they received donated water and food. Some of them got their period while living in the camp. They did not have any sanitary pads nor additional cloths. Some of them even fled without underwear. This story made me realize that people’s SRHR needs don’t disappear just because there is a crisis.” Youth empowerment is important to Chathurika and she would like to continue this work while learning more about development and humanitarian work. She is a firm believer “that young people can contribute. Through my own experience I have seen that it is possible.”   

Dr. Rohan Jayasuriya and midwife Chaturika Lakmale
story

| 24 August 2017

"One pregnant woman was delivering at this time, so she had to go on a boat to dry land"

Incessant rains across Sri Lanka during May 2017 affected over half a million people in seven districts. Most affected was the Ratnapura district where over 20,000 people faced flash floods, and where 46 deaths were reported. IPPF Humanitarian, in partnership with FPA Sri Lanka, responded to this catastrophe through the distribution of over 700 dignity kits in Ratnapura Dr. Rohan Jayasuriya and midwife Chaturika Lakmale were on the ground during and after the floods providing family planning services and contraception to women affected by the disaster. “When the floods came our clinic was located on higher ground, so it wasn’t damaged. The floods finished on the 31 May 2017, and we reopened one day later on the 1 June 2017. After the floods, we arranged several special clinics just for family planning, and distributed condoms and emergency supplies of the pill to camps in case women missed their regular form of contraception like injectables, implants or IUDs. In Sri Lanka, approximately 67% of couples use family planning, 26% of which prefer IUDs” We offered condoms and emergency supply of the pill. We told women to keep one packet of the pill in their handbag, and one in their home, should they ever have to run quickly in an emergency. One pregnant woman was delivering at this time, so she had to go on a boat to dry land, and then onwards in a vehicle to the hospital. Once we reopened the clinic, two of our own midwives were unable to attend work as the floods had affected them, but I was here. It was so busy.” Stories Read more stories from Sri Lanka

Dr. Rohan Jayasuriya and midwife Chaturika Lakmale
story

| 25 September 2022

"One pregnant woman was delivering at this time, so she had to go on a boat to dry land"

Incessant rains across Sri Lanka during May 2017 affected over half a million people in seven districts. Most affected was the Ratnapura district where over 20,000 people faced flash floods, and where 46 deaths were reported. IPPF Humanitarian, in partnership with FPA Sri Lanka, responded to this catastrophe through the distribution of over 700 dignity kits in Ratnapura Dr. Rohan Jayasuriya and midwife Chaturika Lakmale were on the ground during and after the floods providing family planning services and contraception to women affected by the disaster. “When the floods came our clinic was located on higher ground, so it wasn’t damaged. The floods finished on the 31 May 2017, and we reopened one day later on the 1 June 2017. After the floods, we arranged several special clinics just for family planning, and distributed condoms and emergency supplies of the pill to camps in case women missed their regular form of contraception like injectables, implants or IUDs. In Sri Lanka, approximately 67% of couples use family planning, 26% of which prefer IUDs” We offered condoms and emergency supply of the pill. We told women to keep one packet of the pill in their handbag, and one in their home, should they ever have to run quickly in an emergency. One pregnant woman was delivering at this time, so she had to go on a boat to dry land, and then onwards in a vehicle to the hospital. Once we reopened the clinic, two of our own midwives were unable to attend work as the floods had affected them, but I was here. It was so busy.” Stories Read more stories from Sri Lanka

Mother will children at clinic
story

| 24 August 2017

"I looked up and saw trees falling near my neighbour’s house up the hill. My neighbours died"

Incessant rains across Sri Lanka during May 2017 affected over half a million people in seven districts. Most affected was the Ratnapura district where over 20,000 people faced flash floods. “When the flood came, my husband was feeding my eldest child and the baby was asleep in the bed. I was outside of the house. My mother was brushing her teeth outside the back of the house. I looked up and saw trees falling near my neighbour’s house up the hill. My neighbours died. I couldn’t take any possessions – I just had to run for my life. My husband took my younger child. They were all screaming. Since then, I have had my children checked here in the Ministry of Health clinic; their weight, height and nutrition. We had two houses on the one block of land, but we will only get compensation for one house. We can’t live in a tent with a baby so are currently renting a house with our own money, but for a while my mother and father slept in this clinic.” Stories Read more stories from Sri Lanka

Mother will children at clinic
story

| 25 September 2022

"I looked up and saw trees falling near my neighbour’s house up the hill. My neighbours died"

Incessant rains across Sri Lanka during May 2017 affected over half a million people in seven districts. Most affected was the Ratnapura district where over 20,000 people faced flash floods. “When the flood came, my husband was feeding my eldest child and the baby was asleep in the bed. I was outside of the house. My mother was brushing her teeth outside the back of the house. I looked up and saw trees falling near my neighbour’s house up the hill. My neighbours died. I couldn’t take any possessions – I just had to run for my life. My husband took my younger child. They were all screaming. Since then, I have had my children checked here in the Ministry of Health clinic; their weight, height and nutrition. We had two houses on the one block of land, but we will only get compensation for one house. We can’t live in a tent with a baby so are currently renting a house with our own money, but for a while my mother and father slept in this clinic.” Stories Read more stories from Sri Lanka

Chathurika, Sri Lanka
story

| 16 August 2018

Inspiring young people like Chathurika play a crucial role in crisis response

In May 2017, flash flooding in Sri Lanka triggered landslides resulting in many people losing their homes, forcing them to seek shelter in camps. IPPF’s member association the Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka (FPASL) assisted those affected and provided health camps with the support of IPPF Humanitarian. Chathurika Jayalath, a youth volunteer for FPASL, took part in the response. Chathurika is a 24-year-old student from Kegalle, a large town about 80 km from Colombo, and she has been working with FPASL for the last three years. She started out as a youth volunteer and recently became a member of the Youth Technical Advisory Committee. During her engagement with FPASL, Chathurika has learned about sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender issues and has organized workshops on similar topics in her own community. In fact, she runs a youth club at her university to inform her peers about SRHR.  Shortly after the floods began, Chathurika received a WhatsApp message from FPASL where they called for youth volunteers to take part in the response.  “I wanted to volunteer during the response,” Chathurika told us. “As a university student I didn’t have money to donate so I figured I could contribute with my strength instead. I volunteered in the health camp. There, I assisted the medical staff with basic things such mobilizing affected people, making sure they queued up when seeking health care and packed medicine.” Ongoing SRHR needs, even in a crisis Chathurika is keen to learn more about humanitarian work. She received training with FPASL on the needs of people in humanitarian settings in which she and other trainees were presented with different case studies. “There was particularly one story that struck me. We were told that when the flash floods came, women fled without anything, they fled with the only pair of clothes they were wearing,” recalls Chathurika. “When they reached the camp, they received donated water and food. Some of them got their period while living in the camp. They did not have any sanitary pads nor additional cloths. Some of them even fled without underwear. This story made me realize that people’s SRHR needs don’t disappear just because there is a crisis.” Youth empowerment is important to Chathurika and she would like to continue this work while learning more about development and humanitarian work. She is a firm believer “that young people can contribute. Through my own experience I have seen that it is possible.”   

Chathurika, Sri Lanka
story

| 25 September 2022

Inspiring young people like Chathurika play a crucial role in crisis response

In May 2017, flash flooding in Sri Lanka triggered landslides resulting in many people losing their homes, forcing them to seek shelter in camps. IPPF’s member association the Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka (FPASL) assisted those affected and provided health camps with the support of IPPF Humanitarian. Chathurika Jayalath, a youth volunteer for FPASL, took part in the response. Chathurika is a 24-year-old student from Kegalle, a large town about 80 km from Colombo, and she has been working with FPASL for the last three years. She started out as a youth volunteer and recently became a member of the Youth Technical Advisory Committee. During her engagement with FPASL, Chathurika has learned about sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender issues and has organized workshops on similar topics in her own community. In fact, she runs a youth club at her university to inform her peers about SRHR.  Shortly after the floods began, Chathurika received a WhatsApp message from FPASL where they called for youth volunteers to take part in the response.  “I wanted to volunteer during the response,” Chathurika told us. “As a university student I didn’t have money to donate so I figured I could contribute with my strength instead. I volunteered in the health camp. There, I assisted the medical staff with basic things such mobilizing affected people, making sure they queued up when seeking health care and packed medicine.” Ongoing SRHR needs, even in a crisis Chathurika is keen to learn more about humanitarian work. She received training with FPASL on the needs of people in humanitarian settings in which she and other trainees were presented with different case studies. “There was particularly one story that struck me. We were told that when the flash floods came, women fled without anything, they fled with the only pair of clothes they were wearing,” recalls Chathurika. “When they reached the camp, they received donated water and food. Some of them got their period while living in the camp. They did not have any sanitary pads nor additional cloths. Some of them even fled without underwear. This story made me realize that people’s SRHR needs don’t disappear just because there is a crisis.” Youth empowerment is important to Chathurika and she would like to continue this work while learning more about development and humanitarian work. She is a firm believer “that young people can contribute. Through my own experience I have seen that it is possible.”   

Dr. Rohan Jayasuriya and midwife Chaturika Lakmale
story

| 24 August 2017

"One pregnant woman was delivering at this time, so she had to go on a boat to dry land"

Incessant rains across Sri Lanka during May 2017 affected over half a million people in seven districts. Most affected was the Ratnapura district where over 20,000 people faced flash floods, and where 46 deaths were reported. IPPF Humanitarian, in partnership with FPA Sri Lanka, responded to this catastrophe through the distribution of over 700 dignity kits in Ratnapura Dr. Rohan Jayasuriya and midwife Chaturika Lakmale were on the ground during and after the floods providing family planning services and contraception to women affected by the disaster. “When the floods came our clinic was located on higher ground, so it wasn’t damaged. The floods finished on the 31 May 2017, and we reopened one day later on the 1 June 2017. After the floods, we arranged several special clinics just for family planning, and distributed condoms and emergency supplies of the pill to camps in case women missed their regular form of contraception like injectables, implants or IUDs. In Sri Lanka, approximately 67% of couples use family planning, 26% of which prefer IUDs” We offered condoms and emergency supply of the pill. We told women to keep one packet of the pill in their handbag, and one in their home, should they ever have to run quickly in an emergency. One pregnant woman was delivering at this time, so she had to go on a boat to dry land, and then onwards in a vehicle to the hospital. Once we reopened the clinic, two of our own midwives were unable to attend work as the floods had affected them, but I was here. It was so busy.” Stories Read more stories from Sri Lanka

Dr. Rohan Jayasuriya and midwife Chaturika Lakmale
story

| 25 September 2022

"One pregnant woman was delivering at this time, so she had to go on a boat to dry land"

Incessant rains across Sri Lanka during May 2017 affected over half a million people in seven districts. Most affected was the Ratnapura district where over 20,000 people faced flash floods, and where 46 deaths were reported. IPPF Humanitarian, in partnership with FPA Sri Lanka, responded to this catastrophe through the distribution of over 700 dignity kits in Ratnapura Dr. Rohan Jayasuriya and midwife Chaturika Lakmale were on the ground during and after the floods providing family planning services and contraception to women affected by the disaster. “When the floods came our clinic was located on higher ground, so it wasn’t damaged. The floods finished on the 31 May 2017, and we reopened one day later on the 1 June 2017. After the floods, we arranged several special clinics just for family planning, and distributed condoms and emergency supplies of the pill to camps in case women missed their regular form of contraception like injectables, implants or IUDs. In Sri Lanka, approximately 67% of couples use family planning, 26% of which prefer IUDs” We offered condoms and emergency supply of the pill. We told women to keep one packet of the pill in their handbag, and one in their home, should they ever have to run quickly in an emergency. One pregnant woman was delivering at this time, so she had to go on a boat to dry land, and then onwards in a vehicle to the hospital. Once we reopened the clinic, two of our own midwives were unable to attend work as the floods had affected them, but I was here. It was so busy.” Stories Read more stories from Sri Lanka

Mother will children at clinic
story

| 24 August 2017

"I looked up and saw trees falling near my neighbour’s house up the hill. My neighbours died"

Incessant rains across Sri Lanka during May 2017 affected over half a million people in seven districts. Most affected was the Ratnapura district where over 20,000 people faced flash floods. “When the flood came, my husband was feeding my eldest child and the baby was asleep in the bed. I was outside of the house. My mother was brushing her teeth outside the back of the house. I looked up and saw trees falling near my neighbour’s house up the hill. My neighbours died. I couldn’t take any possessions – I just had to run for my life. My husband took my younger child. They were all screaming. Since then, I have had my children checked here in the Ministry of Health clinic; their weight, height and nutrition. We had two houses on the one block of land, but we will only get compensation for one house. We can’t live in a tent with a baby so are currently renting a house with our own money, but for a while my mother and father slept in this clinic.” Stories Read more stories from Sri Lanka

Mother will children at clinic
story

| 25 September 2022

"I looked up and saw trees falling near my neighbour’s house up the hill. My neighbours died"

Incessant rains across Sri Lanka during May 2017 affected over half a million people in seven districts. Most affected was the Ratnapura district where over 20,000 people faced flash floods. “When the flood came, my husband was feeding my eldest child and the baby was asleep in the bed. I was outside of the house. My mother was brushing her teeth outside the back of the house. I looked up and saw trees falling near my neighbour’s house up the hill. My neighbours died. I couldn’t take any possessions – I just had to run for my life. My husband took my younger child. They were all screaming. Since then, I have had my children checked here in the Ministry of Health clinic; their weight, height and nutrition. We had two houses on the one block of land, but we will only get compensation for one house. We can’t live in a tent with a baby so are currently renting a house with our own money, but for a while my mother and father slept in this clinic.” Stories Read more stories from Sri Lanka