Country: The Philippines

A New Life for Sheri

Sheri, 7, and her family live at the base of a toxic garbage range in the Philippines. Their home is nothing but flimsy scraps of plywood, tattered sheets of plastic and bamboo strips held together by rusty nails and ropes. This is no place for children — especially ones whose parents can’t afford to send them to school.

When we first met Sheri, she was undernourished and sad because she didn’t have food and wasn’t in school. She spent her days caring for her little brother and wondering if she would ever get to go to school.

Because of generous friends, we were able to enroll Sheri in our Children’s Feeding Initiative. Today, her health, life and future are secure with daily meals, clean drinking water and wonderful days in school.

This newfound way of living has energized her and left a wide smile on her face.

Convoy of Hope’s friends have made a new life possible for Sheri.

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Children's Feeding

Hope That Sustains

If you were given $1 per day, how would you spend it? For many working class Filipinos, this is a reality. Every day, they’re burdened with the challenge of providing enough for their families. Countless hours of backbreaking labor yields enough pesos to rummage a small portion of rice and a couple sardines — hardly enough to feed a family of four.

But when we create sustainable solutions to poverty, we empower people to become self-reliant. For the people of Calajunan, Philippines, we did so through an innovative aquaponics system installed by a Field Teams group from Bonita Valley Church in California.

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Nate Shuck, U.S.-based worker who spearheaded the project, describes aquaponics as a cross between aquaculture, the raising of fish, and hydroponics — growing plants and vegetables in a soil-free system.

“The waste produced by farmed fish supplies nutrients for the plants to grow hydroponically, which creates both food and clean water for the people in the community,” Shuck says.

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The community will be able to produce 7 to 10 times more food in the aquaponics system, compared to growing it in a traditional garden. They plan on harvesting lettuce, tomatoes, bok choy and tilapia. A portion of the food can also be sold at the corner store to provide income for their families.

Alleviating the burden of hunger allows the people of Calajunan to use their hard-earned income on other basic necessities.

“Every day, I think of the thousands of meals this system will provide for years to come,” Shuck adds.

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Agriculture / Program Updates

Clean Water and Hope in the Philippines

Mark’s mother did her best to take good care of him as a baby, but life at the base of a city landfill in the Philippines created many obstacles — such as unclean water — and a need for hope.

When U.S.-based worker Nate Shuck met Mark and his family, he could see the boy had just a few days left to live. Realizing they had no access to clean water or nutritious food, he worked to connect community leaders and a local church to help the family. They walked alongside her and the family, helping them gain access to purified water, baby formula and food with the nutrition they needed. Soon, Mark gained strength and became healthy.

When 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan devastated much of their island, Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team immediately began serving those affected. In partnership with local churches and Shuck, the team provided food, clean water and shelter in communities around the island.

Convoy of Hope leaders quickly saw opportunity to launch a strategic Children’s Feeding Initiative on the island, serving with local partners that helped during the disaster response.

Mark now attends first grade at a school where we launched a daily feeding program. Knowing other small children continue to struggle with severe malnourishment, Convoy serves healthy meals in a newly built community center at least 3-4 times a week to Mark and many others. Our Field Teams also worked to provide a clean water system at the center and created a fascinating and sustainable aquaponics program at the church.

Mark is now full of life, thanks to people like Nate Shuck and our partners who support our work throughout the world.

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Children's Feeding / Program Updates