Generally their plans begin with gardens and then enlarge to the use of small animals such as chickens, ducks and pigs. Local leaders are the key to success. If we have one or two champions that really want to make it happen, it will flourish. If leadership is not committed, success can be fleeting.
Our role is two fold. First we give them needed instruction by using knowledgeable and skilled professionals. Second, we can supply necessary funds to help it get off the ground.The success is up to the plan they have formulated and the execution of that plan.
My first plane trip since arriving here takes us to the northern part of Luzon and the city of Tuguegarao. I was very surprised to learn that this seemingly small area has one million inhabitants.
This family has really taken the project to a high level. They had a beautiful garden, fruit trees, pond with fish, chickens, pigs and the list goes on. They money they save by growing their own food, allows them a better quality of family life.
We are in the heart of the cooler and wetter months. Plants can be started anytime from May through Oct. and still mature before the hot season begins in January. It is difficult to grow in the summer.
After the members grasp the skills required to garden, the next natural thing to do is to add small animals. Pigs can really be a great way to help families to be self-reliant. They are raised in pens that are kept quite clean, even by our standards.
I find that those that are participating in this project are very happy with the results. They love to show us what they have accomplished.
This is the boar that one family uses and shares to provide more pigs. Part of the program is to share with what you have been given. We started with 70 families last year. Five families dropped out but 20 more families joined in.
This is one of the families that joined in later and has already grasped the joys and benefits of producing their own food. This is a fairly new Humanitarian Project but I feel it will be very successful in the Philippines where it can literally change the dynamics of what a family can do for themselves. In some cases, families have sold surplus. This allows them needed income that will be a blessing to their families.