With fundraising continuing for some of the world's poorest communities as part of Christian Aid Week, Anwen Holmes, Regional Coordinator Oxfordshire, reports on what the charity is doing in the Philippines

Located in the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’, the Philippines are at high risk of earthquakes and its monsoon climate means that the country experiences around 20 typhoons a year. According to the World Risk Report 2014, the Philippines has the 2nd greatest risk of environmental disaster worldwide.

We all remember the devastating scenes of Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, ripping through the country in November 2013.

Three years on and the Philippines continues to deal with the imminent threat of disasters, exacerbated by the effects climate change.

As if living in one of the world’s most disaster prone countries isn’t hard enough, climate change is making life increasingly more difficult, especially for the poor who have done least to cause it.

And that is why, for me, the climate issue has become a justice issue.

In Davao, Christian Aid’s partner organisation, Minland, works with the poorest communities in the Davao river watershed to help them to become stronger and more resilient. These poor communities can only afford to live along the river system where they are most vulnerable to disaster, particularly flooding.

Davao in the southern island of Mindanao escaped the path of Typhoon Haiyan which primarily affected islands in central Philippines, but in December 2012 they were hit by Typhoon Bopha and a year before that in 2011 Typhoon Washi caused rivers to burst their banks.

I visited a community that recalled people having to abandon their homes and flee to safety when the 2011 typhoon hit. Now a narrow footpath is all that separates the river from homes built using bamboo and corrugated sheet metal. Minland is helping to organise an emergency response team made up of volunteers from the community who are trained to monitor the river level and carry out evacuation procedures.

A key member of the emergency response team, Marciano, showed me a row of trees he had helped plant along the river bed to help protect the village from flood waters and landslides and a rope fixed to a tree he constructed for people to grab hold of during extreme flooding if they’re swept away.

Then on to Dumingag where I was met by lively performances from a band, choir and dancing groups – all celebrating the success of Christian Aid partner RWAN’s (Rice Watch Action Network) longstanding project. And they had good reason to celebrate as since RWAN began training farmers how to practice effective farming methods, poverty here has been halved!

Farmers are receiving climate adaptation training to learn how to plant crops that will withstand extreme weather. RWAN has also set up a local 10-day weather station which sends accurate, local weather forecasts to farmers to help them decide what to plant and when.

I spoke with Percalixia , aged 52, who showed me around her farm. Her rice fields stretched against a backdrop of green mountains and a bamboo bridge led to a wooden hut - the kitchen – elevated on stilts above her fish pond. She’d just baked a delicious cake using her own organic rice and gave me a cooling cup of fresh coconut milk which was so welcome in the 35 degrees heat.

She has been farming since she was 19 and had always had to rent land to grow crops, but since being involved with RWAN she has been able to save enough to buy her own land and as a result is investing in growing and selling new crops as well as keeping livestock, lifting herself out of poverty.

Marciano and Percalixia, like so many others, are having to adapt with little to no resources, to stave off the impacts of climate change.

Christian Aid Week in May will help work like this continue in other parts of the world too, like Bangladesh, where flooding caused by climate change is making life increasingly difficult for the poor.

There will be more stories of hope like the ones I was privileged to hear. I’d really encourage everyone to do what they can in support of Christian Aid and our work in eradicating poverty.

Christian Aid Week runs until Saturday. For more details or to donate visit caweek.org or call 08080 006 006