It is our primary belief that the attainment of self-reliance and pride of achievement thru livelihood can only be realized if the people are educated. We must educate the people, particularly the young so they are fully prepared to face the prospects of the future. It is more than just treating these people and providing them with the means for livelihood.
When fundamental needs are taken care of there is room for growth and development. During this period, main programs come to the fore. Livelihood development programs involve the areas of agriculture, aquaculture, trade and industry and Cooperative development. To actively participate in the efforts of the national government to generate livelihood and promote self-reliance, we work among the constituents of the depressed areas in the Philippines where the state institutions lack personnel and logistics to effectively serve and undertake outreach.
“It is horrible to deny people in a place like this the opportunity and the joy of work”, Governor General Leonard Wood once noted.
In communities where employment is scarce, a means of livelihood is definitely necessary to survive.
Year after year, we try to assist the most needy and deserving residents and indigents of the archipelago by providing an avenue to generate income.
One of the livelihood projects was the distribution of seed packets to the people of Culion and other parts of the country. Every planting season thousands of packets of various seeds for cabbages, eggplant, corn, radish, squash, cucumbers and other different sorts were distributed. Once the vegetables were harvested, they were sold in makeshift markets. School youths were given training on backyard gardening through actual work in small-scale gardens, prepared on a classroom basis.
The backyard gardens in JardinElementary schoolBamboostructuresin the schoolgarden
Under our guidance, a group of around 35 housewives in Culionstarted the production of small baskets made out of old newspapers, phone directories etc.
Cogon grass is abundant in Culion and that why we started a training center to teach the inhabitants of some depressed areas how to make paper out of this grass.
Making paper using cogon grass is a way to productively use the invasive weed.The artistic use cogon grass made Philippine homemade paper unique, particularly in the paper crafts, Christmas decors, gifts and novelties. A dilute suspension of fibresin water is drained through a screen, so that a mat of randomly interwoven fibres is laid down. Water is removed from this mat of fibres by pressing and drying to make paper.
Papermaking out of Cogon grass
Handicraft opportunities were continuously promoted. Families were provided with knitting materials and plastic straws donated to produce very unique and attractive curtains or dividers.
FoodprocessingFamilies with their prepared products
Training for home madepolvoron and peanut butter was given and the products produced for the local market in the food processing program in Culion. Thisprogram expanded nationwide.
Construction of fishing boats is a continuous program.
In our strive to provide less fortunate families as much as possible that may in the future plot their course towards self-reliancy, a model fishpond was constructed as a training center in the small scale fishery program.
Above right we see the graduates from the sewing classes training program in Calatagan, Batangas, in a program from the major and governor. Sewing machines were donated by us to every participant.
Several deserving and needy familiesnationwide were given the chance to generate income by hog raising and sari-sari stores activities, like the Leticia Badang Sari-Sari store.
Who doesn't love to receive cards in the mail and even better when they are handmade? We started our own greeting cards with dried flowers that have been pressed training.
We tried to dissuade these girls from going back to the streets by offering a chance of livelihood. Card making opportunities, weaving and knitting were offered to those who are willing. The cards and the other products they produced are marketed by ourselves and net profit is given to the girls.
The school we are building in Calatagan, Batangas aims to provide and maintain livelihood programs and train the less fortunate in skills to enable them to become self-reliant. To help in the marketing of their products and to provide the proper atmosphere conducive to lending and financing to the micro- and mini-businesses of the participants. This will further empower the people with a culture of productivity and excellence and sustain our competitiveness in the world.
We want to uplift the weakest, the powerless and the disadvantaged among us and to confront the challenges of poverty, democracy, globalization, and continuity. To ensure access to quality and relevant education and prepare our human resources to cope with the demands of a rapidly changing world.