Home > Donation > A letter from Mira Yusef, the executive director of Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa

BEYOND “RED CROSS”: Relief efforts for women in disaster areas are a global responsibility for transnational feminists

AF3IRM, Balik sa Dagat Bangka Journey, and NAPIESV have established a partnership to highlight the need for sexual violence prevention steps and services for areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda (or Haiyan) in November and the Bohol earthquake a month earlier in the Philippines.


Women in disaster areas face gendered vulnerabilities. The stress, fear, and sense of helplessness in areas struck by natural hazards increase the risk factors for perpetration of violence against women. (Klein, et al, 2007) Sexual violence is the single-most underreported or unreported crime in the world. Women in disaster areas, including the Philippines, may not have the chance to report at all due to potential disorganization of law enforcement, or even due to mistrust of police and military, who themselves have a history of perpetration. Transnational feminists must create their own infrastructure for relief from sexual violence at this time, taking the lead of Philippine women’s efforts and sharing resources across borders to ensure the most effective support to women and children in a time of loss and chaos.


In a spirit of transnational feminism, AF3IRM, Balik sa Dagat Bangka Journey, and NAPIESV declare their respect for the leadership of Philippine women’s organizations in women-centered relief and seek to include women experts from other relief efforts (e.g., in Indonesia, Haiti, Louisiana) to complement the work by sharing best practices.


We recognize that AF3IRM, Balik sa Dagat Bangka Journey and NAPIESV function from positions of advantage in the United States, so we aim to be prudent when we offer our skills and resources to the valiant and indefatigable endeavors of Philippine women’s programs and organizations to bring relief to families affected by the recent earthquake and typhoon. We hope to partner with these organizations in the Philippines and agree to act as a bridge to other women and women’s organizations in the United States and abroad to augment the efforts.


Our goals include assisting local programs and organizations in the Philippines by providing services to victims/survivors of sexual violence through sharing expertise and funding; creating “mobile safe centers” for women and children to be able to access services; and organizing missions and exchanges between Philippine women and transnational women who have faced sexual violence in disaster areas.

And this is where you can help —-

Our project is divided into three phases: 1) area exploration and survey to assess needs and logistics; 2) implementation of services based on the needs assessments that will include sharing resources with local organizations and establishment of “mobile safe centers”; and 3) evaluation of the project and arrangement of missions and exchanges between Philippine women and transnational women who have faced sexual violence in disaster areas.


We are currently in Phase 1, which is aided by NAPIESV’s unrestricted funds.  The discretionary money is being used to assist two AF3IRM members who will perform the needs assessment.


But we need your support in funding Phase 2!


For Phase 2 to take off, we expect our cost to be $5,000 to help provide basic resources (such as rice, mosquito nets, clean water, etc.) for the “mobile safe centers,” medical supplies, intake materials, and trainings. 

Your donation of $25 or more will go a long way in saving lives and building peace!

You can also help in another way: Get the word out and make some noise about our campaign!

To donate, go to http://igg.me/at/beyond-red-cross/x/1879665 or http://www.napiesv.org/get-involved/donate/

For more information, email us at contact@napiesv.org


About AF3IRM:

AF3IRM is an all-volunteer, transnational women’s organization that is engaged in three areas of advocacy: combating trafficking and militarism, and working for immigrant women’s rights.  We actively oppose violence against women in all its forms.


About Balik sa Dagat Bangka Journey:

Balik sa Dagat Bangka Journey is a community-building project with a vision of empowerment through cross-cultural collaboration by helping build a Pilipino bangka (outrigger canoe), creating watercraft experiences for urban families, and revitalizing ancient seafaring traditions on the West Coast. Our goals are to create a space where the community is able to safely experience the healing process of decolonization. Bangka Journey supports the belief that when a person gets in the bangka, s/he must be one in mind, body and spirit, a harmony that leads to complete healing.


About National Organization of API Ending Sexual Violence (NAPIESV):

NAPIESV is a national organization established by Asian and Pacific Islander anti-sexual assault advocates developing a cross-movement analysis, as well as working to build relationships and partnerships to address sexual violence in API communities.  We recognize the importance of understanding the connections between sexual violence and other forms of violence and oppression.  NAPIESV believe that to effectively build a movement to end sexual violence within API communities, we must include an extensive range of API communities and voices that can speak to those connections, oppressions and social conditions.



Mira Yusef, MSW, MA

Executive Director

Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa

4952 Franklin Avenue

Des Moines, Iowa 50310

(o) 515.288.0881


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/monsooniowa

Twitter: monsooniowa


Steering Committee

National Organization of API Ending Sexual Violence (NAPIESV)


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