The history of REST is, in many ways, synonymous with the history of Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) and the gallant people of Tigray and their multiple struggles against the vagrancies of harsh environmental crises and human-made disasters. The ultimacy of the connection between the political struggle for freedom and liberty and livelihood struggle for survival and wellbeing is exemplified by REST ability to create the prerequisites that made it able during the past forty years to sustain both struggles. Such has been the level of endurance to deliver results which cumulatively contributing and improving the socio-economic and environmental conditions of the people of Tigray year-on-year. No wonder that these qualities have made REST one of the most trusted people’s organization, galvanizing the aspirations of generations giving voice to the voiceless, supporting those in need and console the aggrieved.
Beyond console and empathy, REST has been a change maker to the better of the lives of millions of the Tigray people, empowering, conserving the environment and creating the necessary conditions for sustained livelihood and poverty alleviation. Above all, the story of REST tells a story of solidarity, courage, and compassion during the darker days of the Derg regime’s oppression and authoritarianism and the rebirth of a resilient Tigray standing up to the challenges of the present while preparing for the promise of the future.
REST activities have passed through several phases, encompassing its development from being the relief arm of Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) during the war of liberation against the Derg regime to relief to rehabilitation, to linking reconstruction and development to the current phase of its programs’ development and interventions. This portrait is intended to take stock of REST remarkable journey and achievements and to honor the men and women behind its profound success which touched the lives of almost every household in Tigray.