Helping families provide for their children

Resilient households - mother and child

Children are more likely to be healthy and educated if their families aren't worrying about where the next meal will come from.

In many areas of the Philippines, families are struggling to make ends meet and need help in providing food for their children to thrive. To effectively fight child hunger and improve children's wellbeing, livelihoods support and access to nutritious food are vital - families must have a source of food at hand as well as the means to buy food for their children.

Save the Children is helping to build stronger and more resilient households by supporting family gardens as well as community and school vegetable gardens in high-risk areas of South Central Mindanao. Together, these are all taking a step in the right direction in offering vulnerable households with a readily available source of better nutrition as well as extra income when surplus crops are sold. Read about Juanita whose vegetable garden is enabling her to both feed her family and save up for her daughter's college education.

To help parents provide for their children's nutritional needs, Save the Children's food security and livelihoods program focuses on improving food supply, farming practices and finances of families in need:

  • We give families basic food staples following a natural disaster or emergency,
  • We teach parents about the importance of providing their child with the right variety of foods to prevent malnutrition,
  • We guide family farmers on how to grow nutritious foods, in large quantities to eat or to sell, and how to prevent the loss of crops to floods or disease,
  • We help families access basic financial products like cash grants or savings so they can persevere through challenging times, or start and expand their small businesses,
  • And, we give youth the skills to succeed — like teaching them how to manage money, and get a job and/or build a business.

In 2013, Save the Children's livelihoods program focused in particular on 40 vulnerable households in three T'boli communities in South Central Mindinao. They were trained in agricultural practices and are now all maintaining backyard vegetable plots which are supplementing family nutrition. Our program has had a slight ripple effect as other families in these communities have started up their own plots having seen how the families we worked with have benefited from the training.

Giving youth the skills to succeed

In the Philippines, unemployment rates are amongst the highest in Asia. Through our Skills to Succeed project, we are training adolescents in life and entrepreneurial skills to improve their chances of finding employment or running their own businesses. Last year, we helped Angelo find a call center job after he attended our two-week training course - read how he describes what an impact it has had on him and his family. 

Recovering livelihoods after emergencies

Often in an emergency, families have lost everything. Part of our recovery work includes getting families back on their feet as soon as possible. We provide cash grants, cash for work and support small businesses to families so they can regain their livelihoods. In 2013, we provide livelihoods support to farmers and fishermen affected by Typhoon Yolanda and the Bohol earthquake - read Marites' story on how a simple cash grant has helped her and her family on the road to recovery.