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Heifer International has received a $1.5 million grant to help fund phase two of the RISE-UP: Resilience Initiatives through Sustainable Enterprises and Upgrade of Community Preparedness project. The money will extend work in the Philippines while expanding the work to Guatemala, two of the most disaster-prone countries in which we work. 

The grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation will help strengthen the disaster preparedness and risk reduction capacities of up to 7,200 at-risk small-scale farming families—4,200 in Guatemala and 3,000 in the Philippines—by providing essential training and resources that sustain their livelihoods and increase their resiliency in the face of disaster. Heifer was awarded a $1 million grant in December of 2013 from MACF to support the first phase of RISE-UP, which helped 4,000 families affected by Typhoon Bopha. 

Because both countries have high poverty, low food security, and high rates of malnutrition among women and children, Heifer recognized the need for long-term planning and training for families so they could build resiliency to disasters that could further devastate their circumstances.

The project seeks three outcomes:

  • Families will have improved livelihood protection and greater resilience to cope with disasters 
  • For 2,100 families in Guatemala to adopt improved conservation techniques
  • For Heifer Philippines and Heifer Guatemala to have increased effectiveness in disaster preparedness and risk mitigation

Among a host of other activities, the project will train families on Heifer's Values Based Holistic Community Development model and agroforestry techniques, conduct community-based assesments to identify main hazards and most vulnerable families, plan and implement community disaster drills, provide training and inputs for family food gardens, host community-based workshops on Livestock Emergency Guideline Standards, establish tree nurseries (in Guatemala), and organize Passing on the Gift ceremonies for seeds, plants and livestock distribution where applicable. 

Project work on phase two of RISE UP began this month and will continue through December of 2018.