Last July 5, my team and I at Alexa Mira Society finally got completed in a meeting. We discussed current plans and developments in our project for Barangay Palatiw consisting of four programs: livelihood, urban farming, feeding, and kids’ programs.
One would notice that these programs seem a lot, considering that they would be implemented in just around five to six months. But I think what’s more important here are the lessons we’re going to leave behind to the families and encouraging them to act in their own initiative and free will rather than depending on assistance all the time. Ultimately, what we want to leave behind with them is the drive and independence to lift themselves up.
One of the children in the families is named Alexa, a tribute to the non-government organization we’re working with. If we can provide a better, enabling environment for children like Alexa to thrive, this can help them develop and grow as individuals. And we do these through the programs that we’ve obligated ourselves to push through with.
On being entrepreneurial
The livelihood program ultimately aims to equip the mothers and fathers of the community with the business and entrepreneurial skills to jumpstart their own micro businesses. From selling dishwashing liquid, fish balls, and the produce through the urban farming program, these can serve as additional income streams for their families. This also means better education, food, and health for them and their children.
What I would say the social impact here is the ability of the families to spend more than what they previously spent, thereby giving them the knowledge and belief that they have the potential to upgrade their current living status if they have enough drive and willpower to do so. I think this is a very powerful lesson for the families, because through it they begin to gradually break the stigma and stereotypes with regard to being labeled as “poor.” We want to teach them to become entrepreneurial and discover the value of growing their families through business.
Subsistence and entrepreneurial urban farming
The urban farming program has two main goals: help the families become subsistent and self-sustaining by producing their own crops, and help them have even more additional income through the surplus crops that they’re going to get. That’s essentially how simple it is, because practically anyone can go into urban farming regardless of lack in experience or none at all.
The impact that we want to present to the families is that they can grow various crops through the urban farming program. From pechay to tomatoes, they can experiment on different kinds of vegetables. These crops will also help their families have a healthier lifestyle and nutrition.
Hunger and nutrition
Our feeding program will essentially be for the kids themselves. We want to bring healthy and nutricious food for them. Throughout 30 days in the entire program, the families will be preparing food using the ingredients and materials that we will be providing to them. Hopefully, we also get to use the produce from the urban farming program as ingredients for the feeding program.
For the kids
The kids’ program will be divided into four different sets of activities throughout a month. What we aim here is for the kids to simply have fun and learn different kinds of new things. Some of them are already going to school, and we wanted to augment that learning experience through new amd exciting activities. One of those potential sessions is a session where the kids learn about space and the solar system. Awesome, right?
We still have a long way to go, but this is all going quite well. In the long run, this is for all the families getting left behind, starting with those in Barangay Palatiw.
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