Case Study: The Philippines
Transforming from Receivers to Givers
The Philippines is blessed with abundant natural resources, but because the country is made up of over 7,000 islands with steep and rocky volcanic terrain, travel and trade can be difficult. Mountain communities face isolation, and without access to markets, local economies are unable to grow. The country has also been hit by several catastrophic storms in recent years, and communities are still working to recover.
Episcopal Relief & Development partners with E-CARE (the Episcopal Community Action for Renewal and Empowerment Foundation), the relief and development arm of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, to implement community-based programs in line with the agency’s “Receivers-to-Givers” philosophy. After Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in November 2013, Church-supported agricultural programs expanded operations to provide emergency food aid to communities in need, and since then the communities who received assistance have developed programs to improve their own lives and help others in need. Project funding is paid back so that other communities can benefit and E-CARE can provide emergency aid when needed.
Successive community-based typhoon responses have involved reconstructing housing, rehabilitating agricultural and livestock operations, improving land through reforestation and strengthening local economies through income-generating projects. All E-CARE programs use the asset-based community development (ABCD) approach, identifying available assets and resources and mobilizing them as the building blocks of development.
Agriculture is a cornerstone of many E-CARE projects, with an emphasis on natural farming techniques to avoid the negative environmental and health effects of chemical use and increase resilience to changes in climate. Using certified organic agricultural practices also benefits farmers economically, enabling them to meet local demand for organic produce and compete in export markets. E-CARE support for food processing and marketing enables these endeavors to grow.