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Rehabilitation work is underway in the Philippines to help Heifer International project participants begin the long recovery from Typhoon Bopha, which struck the southern island of Mindanao on December 4, 2012.

Philippines recovery.

Philippines country staff has asked Heifer International for $50,000 in immediate disaster rehabilitation funding to help provide short-term food relief and materials to repair homes and a feed mill, such as tin for the roofs and raw feed ingredients for surviving animals.

Philippines emergency aid.

On Saturday, representatives of the federation of self-help groups (SHGs), organized by Heifer Philippines country staff, met with HEED, the local partner, to discuss and schedule procuring and distributing supplies to help families who were affected. For Heifer, 366 families in two projects in Sta. Josefa, Agusan del Sur, were significantly affected, with homes damaged or destroyed. More than 250 pigs were lost, as well as 90 goats. Rice, corn and banana crops were significantly damaged.

A banana plantation, destroyed by Typhoon Bopha.

The groups also met with representatives of Save the Children and World Vision to help coordinate rehabilitation efforts and food supplies. Heifer regional staff plans to meet December 21 in Sta. Josefa, Agusan del Sur, with the SHGs and HEED to discuss longer term rehabilitation planning.

Between today and December 23, Hercules Paradiang, Heifer Philippines country director, and his team, will work with the SHGs and HEED to secure, repack and distribute food and roofing materials for repairs. Then, between December 21 and 24, members with carpentry skills and others will be divided into groups to help repair and rebuild homes that were damaged, as well as distribute and help prepare food as needed.

Between December 26-29, crews plan to reconstruct the feed mill warehouse, and then on December 30-January 2, 2013, to purchase raw materials to put the feed mill back in operation by January 2, 2013. Between January 8 and 10, 2013, Heifer Philippines staff, along with the self-help groups and local government units, will provide Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction (CMDRR) workshops to five Heifer project communities.

The workshops, which help families prepare for and endure emergencies and disasters, had been planned for December 4-7, but was canceled because of Typhoon Bopha’s assault on the island.

Heifer International plans to send a World Ark writer and photographer to the Philippines in late January to visit the impacted area and report on the families, as well as ongoing CMDRR efforts across the country to better prepare families for disasters such as Bopha, lessons that can be shared with other Heifer International communities in high-risk areas around the world.


Brooke Edwards

Brooke Edwards is from Little Rock, Arkansas, and started working at Heifer International in 2009 as a writer. She and her husband raise two daughters in a house way too small for their four pets. They spend a lot of time sweeping.