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Balik Saka

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Super Typhoon Yolanda snuffed out the lives of thousands of women, men and children in Leyte in 2013. The catastrophic effect was devastating. Most everything was in ruins. Farmers lost everything they had: houses and crops, coconut trees, all that made them earn their keep. They were in a daze, having lost loved ones, not knowing where to go, how they would survive after the relief goods handed them were gone.

Still they said they wanted to go back to their farms. That was where Balik Saka (Back to Farm) came in. The goal was to rehabilitate and improve the productivity of farm communities in areas in Leyte affected by Yolanda.

A team chose initial communities in Leyte to enroll in the Balik Saka program sponsored by Universal Harvester Inc. and local government agencies. They were chosen based on certain criteria like their being poor, were agriculture communities unreached by aid from donor agencies, and willing to adopt other communities after they became sustainable. The initial communities chosen were Villa Corazon of Burauen, and Villa Conzoilo of Jaro.