Our gifts for Mission & Service, together with our emergency response for Typhoon Haiyan, support the agricultural program of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP). In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan destroyed large parts of Philippine infrastructure, affecting the economic base of many communities.
The Visayas region in Central Philippines, a predominantly agricultural area, was hard hit by Haiyan. Ninety-five percent of fruit trees were uprooted, livestock were killed, and crops were destroyed. Also destroyed were many families’ hopes for feeding their families and making a living. As part of the recovery process, Mission & Service partner the UCCP is working with agricultural communities to restore livelihoods.
Working with community-based organizations, the UCCP developed a plan that identified the most appropriate livestock to distribute to local families. Basic veterinary skills and training help farmers ensure the health and welfare of the animals they receive. Home solar lighting kits are being distributed to communities. For some, this was the first electrical light their home had ever had.
A third component of the plan is helping farmers plant and harvest aerobic rice, which uses less water and requires less labour than traditionally grown rice. Given the right conditions, seed is easily saved from year to year, and a growing season can have two harvests.
Our emergency response provided a robust short-term response to start the rehabilitation. Through Mission & Service, our ongoing support ensures that these programs grow and develop to create resilient and sustainable farming communities in the Philippines.
Source: The United Church of Canada