By Christine V. Yambao
09 May – 30 June 2022
CARE Orphanage, Carlos Mendoza, Pasay,
Brgy. San Roque, Zamboanga City
The LingaPhilKOFA: Seeds of Hope for MindanaONE was designed to provide a sustainable source of food security for children through the provision of a sustainable urban farm setting for an orphanage. The beneficiaries of the project are Twenty-Five (25) orphans and abandoned children at CARE Orphanage, Zamboanga City. These children, with an age range of 8 – 18 years old, male and have been out of school since the start of the pandemic and they come from grassroots communities in Zamboanga City. A number of these orphaned children are those that witnessed the three-week September 2013 armed incursion into Zamboanga City by a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). A number of these children are confronted not only by the psychological scars of being orphans from the 2013 Zamboanga City siege but are also facing the challenge of fulfilling their physiological needs. At present, these children have been providing food on their plate at a very young age by doing minor labor such as carpentry, fishing, selling used bottles and metals collected from the garbage bins and selling goods at the market. The active partners during the implementation of the project were iYOUDahan, Kids Who Farm, the Philippine National Police – Special Action Force 5th Special Action Battalion and the 55th Special Action Company along with the Student Action Force – Malangas Chapter and the Villar Sipag Foundation.
The CSO iYOUdahan caters to the wellness of the orphans and has long been working with these kids whereas the Kids Who Farm provided the technological transfer on the establishment of the growhouse structure, the urban container farming, Kratky hydroponics production and basic composting. The Philippine National Police – Special Action Force 5th Special Action Battalion, 55th Special Action Company – provided the use of the transportation during the purchase of some of the materials, gave free haircuts for all the kids/ staff, provided basic school supplies and circumcision services for around 15 kids. Volunteers from the Student Action Force – Malangas Chapter provided meals and some goodies for the children during the turnover event and the seed packets of various common vegetables were from the Villar Sipag Foundation.
The beneficiaries were grateful of the assistance extended by PHILKOFA, KOICA and other implementers of the project.
The project is seen to have an impact on the food sustainability efforts and the possible income-generating activities of the beneficiaries. Through their determination to ensure the proper management and growth of their urban garden, their health situation provides for a regular source of vegetables and allows for extra resources for the orphanage to help cover their operational expenses.