Erlinda is a widow and lives alone with two of her seven children in Alang-Alang, Leyte province, in the Philippines. Like many people in her region, she was badly affected by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013 - one of the most violent in history. The storm destroyed her home and left her and her children destitute.
Before the typhoon, Erlinda was a farmer and worked land that did not belong to her, with the help of one of her children. “As a widow, everything was harder. Life was already very difficult,” she explains. Now, Erlinda suffers from a disease which means she can no longer work in the fields. Rearing pigs is the ideal solution for her. “Before the typhoon, I had pigs, but they were washed away in the floods,” she explains.
In October 2014, Handicap International gave her a sow and a grant to build a sty. Erlinda was also trained by the organisation to take care of this hybrid breed of pigs, and to manage a budget and run a business.
“I took two training courses and I learned a lot of things, particularly how to manage my expenses,” says Erlinda. Like all project beneficiaries, she was also given a supplementary grant which she used, for example, to buy food for her pig.
Erlinda is very proud of her 14 piglets produced by the sow. They represent the hope of a new life for her. In fact, she intends to keep two to breed and will sell the others, enabling her to buy a male pig to expand her stock.
“I’m so grateful, because none of this would have been possible without help from Handicap International,” says Erlinda.