November 27, 2015
More than 500 women from Typhoon Yolanda-affected communities in Western Samar appealed for livelihood support to various government agencies during its First Rural Summit held on Friday in Basey, Samar.
In a unity statement, the women who came from 24 barangays in the towns of Basey, Marabut and Sta. Rita specifically asked for capital support, equipment, and additional skills and trainings. They also asked for help in linking their products to the market.
“We hope to receive capital resources and machineries that we could use for our livelihood,” the women said in the vernacular.
They also appealed for increased access to social services such as health and nutrition.
During the summit, there was also a commitment signing with representatives of various local government agencies such as the Provincial Agriculture Office, Department of Trade and Industry and the Provincial Government of Samar.
The women also took the opportunity to feature some of their products such as organic vegetables and fruits, handicrafts and native delicacies through a mini trade fair.
There was also a parade held from the St. Michael the Archangel Parish to the Basey Municipal Gym to signify their unity.
Prior to the devastation of Yolanda, the women spent most of their time at home, rearing their children.
But through the intervention of the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Calbayog and NASSA/Caritas Philippines, many of the women were trained and empowered to become micro-entrepreneurs, farmers and mat weavers.
So far, about 406 women were already provided support through the provisions of egg laying implements, capital assistance for mat weavers and mat weavers’ centers, duck poultry for salted egg production, and backyard farming.
Aside from livelihood, the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Calbayog also implemented interventions on shelter, disaster risk reduction, ecosystem, and water, sanitation and hygiene to typhoon Yolanda survivors in the province.
“Yolanda may have destroyed the livelihood of the people of Samar, but it has restored as well the sense of self-worth of the women,” Social Action Center Yolanda Rehabilitation Program Director Fr. Cesar Aculan said.