REST, Tigray

The Relief Society of Tigray (REST)

Restoring fragile landscapes to sustain a healthy, growing population.

In many parts of the world, the combination of environmental degradation and climate-change vulnerability result in severe food insecurity. Tigray, which is the northernmost region of Ethiopia, is one example. Highly prone to droughts, Tigray is home to a rapidly growing population of almost five million people—more than 80% of whom are smallholder farmers. Providing sufficient food for their families from overworked, arid lands is a constant challenge. Yet, with the help of a highly effective, locally led organization, more than two million people are finding ways to restore degraded landscapes, enhance resilience to climate change, and build sustainable livelihoods.

Tigray Ethiopia

The Relief Society of Tigray (REST) was established in 1978, and now has more than a thousand Ethiopian staff members. REST’s work in a community typically begins with watershed restoration and water management to help communities restore and sustain the landscape in order to grow sufficient food. REST also provides training and support in a range of income-generating activities, such as harvesting grasses as livestock feed.

Barr Foundation is proud to have supported REST with three grants totaling $1.2 million dollars since 2012 to diversify farm and household food production and incomes, while restoring watersheds and promoting the sustainable usage of natural resources. While REST is already serving more than two million of Tigray’s population, it is now looking to extend its reach to the remaining 60% of Tigray’s population. To learn more, watch the short video below.

Relief Society of Tigray (REST)

To provide emergency seed to drought-affected households in the Bete Gebriel watershed and nearby communities in Ethiopia.

  • Award Date: 4/27/2016
  • Amount: $100,000
  • Term: 6 months
  • Program: Global

Relief Society of Tigray (REST)

To diversify farm and household food production and incomes while restoring the watershed and promoting the sustainable use of natural resources in Bete Gabriel, Hintalo Wajerat, Tigray, Ethiopia.

  • Award Date: 6/23/2015
  • Amount: $250,000
  • Term: 24 months
  • Program: Global

The Relief Society of Tigray (REST)'s mission is to be a driving force in bringing about sustainable, people led development in Tigray. Through an integrated, participatory approach to rural development, REST aims to improve food security for the poorest rural households in the most drought prone and environmentally degraded areas of Tigray.