During this time of pandemic, Community of Hope (COH), a resettlement program of Operation Blessing for the people affected by super Typhoon Yolanda, is thinking about ways on how to make the community self-sufficient and secure.

“Our lives had dramatically changed because of the pandemic. I lost my job at the catering services, so my wife and I struggled to make ends meet,” COH beneficiary Edward Asuncion said.

Lurline Repunte and her husband, who “lost [their] only source of income since the onset of the coronavirus crisis”, were confronted with similar hardships.

The dire conditions of the beneficiaries were known to COH Farming Association. And this renewed the organization’s drive to foster the community and reinforce food security through sustainable farming.

COH knows that having a piece of land to work on isn’t enough. There must be an effective program that would give them a start in making farming profitable and help them maintain a sustainable model.

With the help of the City Agriculture of Tacloban, the COH Farming Association has initiated conventional farming in the COH demo farm, offering profitable opportunities to beneficiaries like Asuncion and Repunte.

“We were elated when COH introduced the farming projects to us. I told my wife, finally, we can start again with this new source of livelihood,” Asuncion shared.

The City Agriculture Office of Tacloban also helped monitor the development of the farm and crop production. During the assessment period, the beneficiaries were seeing the benefits of conventional farming to the crops compared to the previous produce.

“We’re eternally grateful to COH and Operation Blessing for giving us an opportunity to rebuild and enter a new chapter of agricultural sustainability,” Repunte pointed out. “Thank you very much. This help would be vital to ensuring our community’s food security especially in this time of increasing scarcity,” she added.