Rosemarie had to rebuild her life after a typhoon destroyed her home in the Philippines. Today, her farm is doing better than ever, allowing her to send her kids to college.
When Rosemarie recalls surviving 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan – one of the most difficult experiences of her life – the emotions are still raw.
“I don’t want to see… to remember…” she trails off as tears well up.
Typhoon Haiyan was a Category 5 storm that hit the Philippines in 2013. With winds of more than 240 kilometres per hour, Haiyan is still considered one of the most powerful typhoons of all time.
When Haiyan hit her village, Rosemarie, a 48-year-old farmer, was among those who lost everything. “Everything was destroyed. All the crops were gone, so the community had to start from the beginning.”
Determined to rebuild, Rosemarie participated in a CARE project that helped her replant diverse, sustainable crops, increase her income, and help get her yields to market.
Now she is a small business owner selling seeds, tools and other farming supplies, and even trains other farmers to help improve their businesses by planting different types of vegetables. With her income from these jobs, she is able to send her three children to college.
“I help people in my community – especially the vegetable farmers, especially the vulnerable people – to plant vegetables for their daily needs and to support their families,” she says.
Earning more money is helping farmers better support their families and pay for their children’s education.
Recalling the typhoon’s impact is still difficult for Rosemarie. “It destroyed my community,” she says. “I lost everything and my heart was broken…” But six years later, life has improved. “My life is getting better… I hope for the future. I am a farmer and I am proud!”