The Philippines

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 increase resilience to climate change and avoid the negative environmental and health effects of chemical use. 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.

Alleviating Hunger and Improving Food Supply

  • Exploring climate-smart strategies to improve crop production and diversity
  • Improving the land through reforestation and conservation
  • Supporting farmer cooperatives to improve agricultural practices and access to markets
  • Increasing shelf life, value and marketability of food products through processing
  • Creating sustainable food and income through improved animal husbandry practices

Creating Economic Opportunities and Strengthening Communities

  • Empowering entrepreneurs through micro-finance services, financial literacy and business training

Responding to Disasters and Rebuilding Communities

  • Examining possible hazards and leveraging local strengths and resources to reduce disaster risk and build resilience

Almost one billion people are affected by chronic hunger and poverty worldwide.  Malnutrition or lack of access to food can jeopardize overall productivity, health and well-being. Read more about Agriculture.

Read more about Agriculture

Planning ahead for disasters can go far in minimizing their potential impact – especially for people already facing poverty, who may lose their few assets or safety nets. To this end, Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Episcopal/Anglican Church to better prepare for and respond to disasters. Read more about Disaster Risk Reduction.

Read more about Disaster Risk Reduction

Our micro-finance programs emphasize involving both women and men, which can be very effective in promoting gender awareness and empowering women. When women become breadwinners, they increase their role in household decision-making, which often enhances the whole family’s well-being. Read more about Micro-finance.

Read more about Micro-finance