Tag: Philippines

Ag567 Project Cultivates New Methods for Community Change

What happens when you empower five neighbors to grow six different kinds of crops in a community-style garden — all while rotating responsibilities every seven days?

That’s the question that the Ag567 project set out to answer.

For many residents of the Philippines, food insecurity and malnutrition are ever-present. Jun Tigas, Convoy of Hope’s Agricultural Officer in the Philippines, constantly works to provide nutritious food to communities. But because of frequent disasters and the challenge of living in a country made up of 7,640 different islands, fighting food insecurity is an incredible undertaking.

Inspiration for the Ag567 project came from a desire to overcome challenges like these. The formula is simple, yet empowering and effective.

Five or more volunteers from a community receive the education and supplies necessary to plant a garden in a shared space. They usually plant the gardens in communal backyards, at churches, or on farmland donated by local government authorities in support of the project.

Six different types of crops grow in these gardens. Generally, the crops are fruits and vegetables — think high-nutrient crops like beans (for protein) and leafy greens (for micronutrients) — and income-generating crops, the excess of which can be sold for a profit.

Every seven days, volunteers rotate responsibilities tending to the garden. This ensures that everyone is well-versed and well-rested, which creates a sustainable and gratifying system.

The project has been massively successful. What started with two volunteers blossomed into a group of 900 enthusiastic gardeners, eager to provide for and improve their communities.

“I’ve never seen community involvement like this,” said David Vanderpool, Convoy of Hope’s International Food and Agriculture Specialist. “They are self-motivating, they are creative, they are innovative, they are forward-thinking.”

In many parts of the Philippines, the pandemic’s disruption of the global economy and supply chain made it almost impossible for some families to buy food. Communities with Ag567 gardens now have a reliable source of both food and income, as many have begun to sell surplus and seedlings. Other communities have also donated crops and seeds to local schools so students can have access to sustainable food sources.

Many Ag567 volunteers are eager to share their newfound knowledge with neighboring communities as well. This means more access to sustainable resources for more people. One community’s local police station took note of the garden’s massive success and approached volunteers to ask for help planting their own Ag567 garden.

“I’m really impressed with what they’ve done,” David concluded, adding that in the future, Convoy of Hope aims to work with our partners and team members in the Philippines to expand Ag567 gardens throughout the country.

Because of your support, Convoy of Hope’s Agriculture initiative is providing sustainable sources of income and nutritious food around the world. To contribute, click here.

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Agriculture

Convoy of Hope’s Team in the Philippines Hosts Virtual Visit

“Eight thousand miles away, our program volunteers send their greetings to all of you,” Stanley Yu said cheerfully as he and a group of volunteers stood on a hillside in the Bicol region. Stanley is Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding Director in the Philippines.

In response, the group of volunteers shouted, “Mabuhay!”  — a phrase which translates to, “Live long!” in Filipino.

Convoy of Hope stays in close contact with team members around the world, but had to keep international travel to a minimum in 2020 due to the pandemic. However, local staff hosted a “virtual visit” to the Philippines so they could keep their teammates in the U.S. up to date on the initiatives they oversee.

The virtual visit included an opportunity to meet with Convoy of Hope’s team in the Philippines, question and answer sessions, commentary from our national director and in-country team members, interviews with program participants and volunteers, and updates on programmatic activities.

“This is representative of thousands of lives all across the Philippines — and for that matter, for the world in Convoy’s global work,” Kevin Rose, Convoy’s Senior Director of Partner Relations, said.

Convoy of Hope is incredibly grateful for those who support this work in the Philippines and around the world. To support Convoy and change the lives of people who have limited opportunity, click here.

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Children's Feeding

‘Keep Going and Keep Dreaming’: Jaan’s Story

“Keep going and keep dreaming.” 

That has been 8-year-old Jaan’s motto through the most difficult times in her life. Now a participant in Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding program in the Philippines, Jaan’s dreams have gotten bigger and more attainable. But COVID-19 has tested her motto and her willpower to a remarkable extent.

When the pandemic struck, Jaan was worried about the safety of her friends and family, but also about the loss of her father’s job. Jaan’s family already struggled financially. Without her father’s income, the ever-present threat of food insecurity loomed larger.

“It made me feel sad, and I pitied my parents,” she said. “What kept me going was the desire to help and support them in the future. That is why I want to finish my studies and earn more so I can help them.”

With her mind on where her next meal would come from, it was difficult for Jaan to focus on getting good grades. But when she joined Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding program, the nutrients she received kept her mind and body strong so that she could do her best. Because she receives nutritious meals at school, she gets to eat, learn, have fun with friends, and work toward a better future — all in one place.

“I like that I can go to school and be part of the feeding program,” said Jaan. “The food Convoy of Hope provides helps me to be more active and healthy.”

With a full stomach and motivated by big dreams, Jaan finished her semester with excellent grades.Thanks to your support, hundreds of thousands of children regularly receive nutritious meals at schools around the world. To support Convoy of Hope as we continue to fight food insecurity, click here.

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Children's Feeding

Food & Fortitude: Jessa’s Story

Meals can change lives. For a child, having access to healthy food can mean the difference between a hopeful future and one of desperate instability.

Jessa knows this well.

She and her parents live in a small, unfinished home in the Philippines. She likes to play with her friends, enjoys her classes at school, and aims to excel in all that she does. But Jessa often didn’t have the chance to focus on her dreams. There were bigger problems she had to face each day.

“When my parents argued about finances, I felt almost like giving up,” Jessa said.

The strain of food insecurity took a heavy toll on Jessa and her family. Daily uncertainty and insufficient nutrition left little room for her to enjoy being a child.

“I was hoping I could finish my school life [with] a good feeling and in good condition,” she said. “I do not want to remain a child. I want to grow up faster so that I can help my poor family.”

But with more hope and stronger food security, everything changed for Jessa. Now, she receives full, nutritious meals every school day through Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding program.

“Convoy of Hope food is very helpful in our daily lives, especially our meal every day,” Jessa said.

Full of strength and energy and with a full stomach, Jessa can now focus on her dreams. “I am strong enough to face the trials in my life and to reach what I want,” she said. “I like my life now.”

Thank you for changing Jessa’s story and giving her the opportunity to achieve her goals.

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Children's Feeding

“There’s nothing I can’t do,” Philippines Volunteer with physical disability serves her community

Linda volunteers at one of Convoy of Hope’s many Children’s Feeding program centers based in the Philippines. She was familiar with feeling ashamed of her physical disabilities, but she’s found confidence and purpose by working with Convoy of Hope staff and serving the children in our program.

“There’s nothing I can’t do,” she says.

Watch this video to see how Linda is making a difference through Convoy of Hope.

 

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Program Updates