Use this document as a starter to get introduced to this very important standard of service delivery.

In humanitarian crises, important windows of opportunity exist to support the early recovery of affected populations, creating the basis for self-sufficiency and future development interventions. By planning early recovery interventions as soon as possible during an emergency, you can avert the risk of relief assistance becoming an alternative to development and the social fabric of society can be more easily preserved and reconstituted. Providing early recovery support is also an important opportunity to promote gender equality and to build back better, in a way that capitalizes on the capacities of all sec- tors of society and reshapes social roles towards greater gender equality. Livelihoods support is one example of early recovery intervention in a humanitarian situations.

Livelihood strategies aim at developing self-reliance. Livelihood interventions should be designed and implemented to strengthen women’s and men’s productive capacity early on, when it matters most, and to promote longer-term self-sufficiency.

A livelihood refers to the capabilities, assets and strategies that people use to make a living; that is, to achieve food and income security through a variety of economic activities. Livelihood programmes cover a range of issues, including non-formal education, vocational training and skills training programmes, income generation activities and food-for-work programmes, apprenticeship placement projects, micro-credit schemes, agriculture programmes, business start-up programmes, seeds and tools projects, animal disbursement projects and self-employment and job placement programmes.

See this handbook for more training ideas

Typhoon relief efforts scale up on Samar Island
November 29, 2013 12:48
Source: International Committee of the Red Cross
Country: Philippines

Three weeks after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) swept away villages, separated families and claimed thousands of lives, most survivors are still dependent on aid. The ICRC and Red Cross and Red Crescent partners are increasing their relief efforts, with a focus on water and emergency health care.

In Eastern Samar, one of the areas hardest-hit by the super typhoon, the devastation has compounded the stark consequences of armed conflict. “People already living in dire poverty have seen their crops and livelihoods destroyed, while water networks and health facilities have been severely affected. These communities will need a lot of help in the coming months – and beyond – to rebuild their lives," said Vincent Cassard, who is coordinating the ICRC’s response to Typhoon Haiyan in Manila.

Over the coming three months, the ICRC and the Philippine Red Cross will provide 67,000 people with drinking water and around 63,000 people with emergency health care. The two organizations also intend to help communities rebuild their livelihoods in the longer term. "We will keep distributing food to affected communities along the south coast of Samar as long as needed, but we plan to help people get back on their feet through sustainable sources of income," added Mr Cassard.

Health care

Working with the Norwegian and Finnish Red Cross Societies, the ICRC has set up an emergency hospital in Basey and a basic health care unit in Balangiga. The two facilities will provide essential medical services while damaged health infrastructure is being repaired, something the ICRC plans to support.

Putting families back in touch

The Philippine Red Cross processed around 35,000 missing persons inquiries in the days following the typhoon. With the ICRC, it has been helping the population of Samar and Leyte Islands inform their relatives that they survived, by registering their names on public lists or by making satellite phones available to them to call home.

A dedicated Family Links website ( has been set up to help people looking for relatives following Typhoon Haiyan.

Clean water

Much water infrastructure repair work has focused on the devastated town of Guiuan, the site of several evacuation centres. ICRC engineers have worked closely with the local water board to transport drinking water for over 30,000 people every day and get pumping stations running again.

Water treatment units and distribution systems have also been set up in seven municipalities for more than 40,000 people living along the coast.


Deliveries of food and household essentials have proved life-saving for the remote coastal communities most exposed to the typhoon’s landfall, including Victory and Homonhon Islands, accessible by boat from Guiuan. Over 58,000 people from mainland communities have received food.

Support for damaged jails

The ICRC’s normal activities in the Philippines include visiting jails to help the authorities ensure detention conditions are in keeping with international standards.

In the aftermath of the typhoon, the ICRC visited 23 jails in Samar and Leyte to identify urgent needs and in some cases delivered food and water. During these visits, ICRC staff helped detainees without news from their relatives to contact them by phone.

The ICRC already has nearly 120 staff on the ground, and that number is set to increase as the organization continues its work on Samar Island.

For further information, please contact:

Soaade Messoudi, ICRC Manila, tel:  +63 918 907 2125
Cecilia Goin, ICRC Manila, tel:  +63 999 887 0969
Allison Lopez, ICRC Manila, tel:  +63 908 868 6884
Ewan Watson, ICRC Geneva, tel:  +41 22 730 33 45  or  +41 79 244 64 70

Theosis Educational Trust provides technical, life skills, soft skills training and learning opportunities to the not-for-profit humanitarian aid service sector. Beneficiaries are donors, funding partners, NGOs, implementation partners and recipients of international aid.

Cultural Skills

  • Staff and volunteers working in cross-cultural milieu
  • Expat and Repat personnel
  • Donor relations in a foreign country
  • Developing economy NGOs bridging the cultural gap

Corporate Governance

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Practical Training

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  • WASH
  • NFI Distribution
  • Livelihood
  • Real Time Evaluation

Soft Skills

  • BananaBelt our North American Skills Training division
  • First Aid training is performed by our own trainers in South Africa



Theosis Education Trust (TET) was founded in 1997

We have delivered training and education opportunities to individuals, charities, not for profit organizations and victims of disaster in Southern Africa, ASEAN countries, India, Canada and the USA.

Donations to TET qualify for tax benefits associated with Education Trusts in South Africa.

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