In the time of pandemic, it is essential to strengthen our immune system – and vegetables are one of the main sources to it, as the health benefits of these are enormous. People are starting to recognize the importance of growing their own food at home; and it is not new to the rural communities of Aklan.
While one of the primary livelihood sources of the communities is vegetable production, most of the farmers have been affected when the Covid-19 happened; there was more supply than demand, thus resulting to the vegetables not being marketed and failing. They could not easily afford vegetable seeds and saplings, as it would cost them much by travelling alone to purchase.
To aid to some of our beneficiaries who have also been affected in terms of their livelihood, the GFF HELPS Philippines understood the problem and has successfully conducted its first Vegetable Garden Project in the month of August. After careful planning last month, the team has also produced booklets for the children and the parents which will be beneficial for the maintenance and information about the vegetables.
The total 50 beneficiaries were chosen to be the families of our Reading Workshop and Mobile Library participants; the Philippines’ team have visited each beneficiary to check and survey the conditions of the families’ vegetable plots after a few weeks since the seeds were handed out.
Despite the challenges of getting to the households of each of our beneficiary, stories amongst our beneficiaries stood out the most to us; as they proudly showed their vegetable plots and expressed their gratitude to the GFF Helps. Their willingness to work with what they were given, and doing the best they could by being resourceful even, has reminded us of the valuable lesson of extending a hand to those in need – that in giving our service, it is its own reward.
by Ana Herco, Philippines Local Volunteer