Every year since Relief Brigade started, we have reviewed and refreshed our approach to better serve our focus communities. Continuing this tradition, observing how our Relief Week 2017 recipients have used their donations will help influence our approach to Relief Week 2018 and the products we offer through Relief Mart.

This year, around 1,000 chickens (along with the vitamins and feed necessary for their growth) were purchased and donated through Relief Mart. As relatively inexpensive animals to breed, one of the great benefits of raising chickens is the ability to grow-to-market and earn cash quickly.

Despite this, chickens aren’t the perfect solution for every family – which is why one family took the profits from one growth cycle of chickens and re-invested it into piglets, a livestock more suited to their family situation. For this family, where the husband is often out searching for construction work or gone for months at a time while working on-site, pigs offered a more low-maintenance alternative for the wife, who raises the four children and now two pigs. While it will take longer to realize profit from the pigs, they have the advantage of being stronger and more likely to survive if extreme weather conditions arise.

For other families, especially those with little income, the cost of feeding pigs is often prohibitive, especially given their longer breeding cycle – so there are definitely pros and cons to raising both chickens and pigs.

While the start up costs and the donations we would need to ask for to give piglets away are much greater than those for chicks, observing how this family has taken your support and successfully moved into a new direction, has us at Relief Brigade considering putting piglets on sale through Relief Mart in time for next year’s Relief Week. At the end of the day, we want to find the best ways to maximise the financial support from generous donors in order to have the biggest impact on those in need in the Philippines.

Stay tuned. And if you ever have any questions or suggestions please reach out at reliefbrigade@gmail.com.