Nearly two weeks after super typhoon Haiyan slammed the Philippines, Heifer staff have finished assessing our projects and are now working with local authorities and other nonprofits and non-governmental organizations to provide necessary items to help our farmers recover and rebuild.
Heifer is focusing on providing immediate basic needs—food, water, medicines and shelter kits like corrugated iron sheets, nails, wood, etc.—for both our project families and their livestock. Since Heifer is not a relief organization, but rather focuses on long-term development, our support is only to supplement gaps in the relief efforts of various other agencies who specialize in that sector. This assistance is necessary to get our farmers back to where they were before the storm.
Help our farmers recover and begin to rebuild their lives.
But what sets Heifer apart is the spirit with which the relief work is undertaken. Heifer received word that project families in both the southern and central Philippines who were unaffected by the typhoon were ready to help in repacking and loading of goods and supplies to be sent to the Leyte projects.
Heifer, where appropriate, will also mobilize our self-help group farmers, associations and co-operatives to ensure systematic relief distribution and management just like what the project families did after typhoon Bopha hit Mindanao in 2012.
The farmers in the Philippines are embodying our Cornerstone of sharing and caring. They want to help where they can.
Another way Heifer's work is different from others is our Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction training, which Heifer participants who experienced typhoon were crediting with saving their lives. Heifer Philippines Country Director Herc Paradiang explains the CMDRR training in more detail in the short video here:
Heifer Philippines team is planning to purchase immediate assistance supplies either in the Southern Philippines (Mindanao), Cebu, or the Bicol region because supplies in the island of Leyte and Samar provinces have already run out of food, shelter, fuel and other supplies. Teams there are pricing materials to ensure we get more goods for each dollar spent. Prices in Cebu City and Ormoc City are already skyrocketing due to the limited suppies there.