Tag: Antipolo

Oct 12 2009

Moringa trees in the Philippines

Oct. 16 is World Food Day, created in 1979 to increase awareness of the global food problem. In light of this event, we will be doing our part to raise awareness of simple, natural ways to combat malnutrition and hunger. Because CFCA spends more money on nutrition-related benefits than any other, our project staff and families are very creative when it comes to sustainable options. For example, in a recent report from the Philippines, we learned that CFCA families plant moringa trees. Not only is this tree extremely nutritious, but itís drought-resistant AND most of the tree can be used. Although this is the first time weíve heard of this tree, our projects are very familiar with its benefits. This week, you will hear how several projects incorporate this ìmiracleî tree into the CFCA program.

Llyod climbs the moringa tree to harvest the tiny leaves.
Llyod harvests the tiny moringa leaves.

Q&A with Malou Navio, Antipolo, Philippines, project coordinator

1. You said in the Clean and Green report that CFCA families plant moringa trees. How do they use the trees?
The moringa tree is a popular, indigenous herb to us and to people in the communities. Its matured bark is scraped to get a teaspoonful of shavings to mix with a cup of hot or cold water to make a tea known to cleanse the urinary tract. It can also be used as an antiseptic.

The young branch can also be used as plaster liniment. We start with a six-inch cutting, then make it flat, add a little oil, then heat it. When it warms to a tolerable temperature, put on the painful area to relieve the pain.

Moringa seeds can be used as water purifier. Just pound the seeds then place them in the water jug or jar.

2. How do you care for the moringa trees?
Just water the moringa tree during dry season. In rainy season, elevate the soil around the trees. Moringa will die if water sits for long around its roots. Pruning is also helpful to sprout more branches.

3. If the leaves are used for food, how do you prepare moringa? How do you eat it?
We thresh the leaves from its stem. It can be incorporated almost in all viands — soups, noodles, sweets, snacks, burgers and juice. It is prepared just like an ordinary cabbage or spinach.

4. Can you harvest the tree at any time of the year or only certain seasons?
Moringa can be harvested at any time of the year when there are enough leaves. For a large tree, we can harvest twice weekly.

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May 7 2009

A duet in the Philippines

Blog and video by Paul Pearce, director of international programs department

On a recent visit to our programs in the Philippines, I was invited to spend the afternoon with a group of sponsored aging persons in the Antipolo project. The program organizes sponsored members into small groups called ìKapitbahayanî (neighbor in the Filipino language).

The groups of 15 to 20 members meet regularly, and this afternoon was one of such Kapitbahayan meetings held in the ruins of a small, uncompleted building.

The meetings are a source of camaraderie, support and planning among the sponsored members. They share with each other how things are going in their home life, study scriptures and coordinate project activities.

During the meeting, I asked if they have recreation or talent development activities. That’s when the smiles really emerged on these beautiful faces. Wenceslao quickly stood and said that he would like to sing out of great gratitude to his sponsor and the CFCA program. CFCA staff member Nell joins him as a duet part way through the popular and historic song.

I was now immersed in Filipino pride, beauty and spirit through song. Many in attendance took turns singing. They had turned this ramshackle, tattered shell of a building into a fine concert hall and given our meeting its wings.

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Apr 22 2009

‘Clean and Green’ in the Philippines

By Malou Navio, Antipolo project coordinator

Caring for the communal gardens.Project staff and CFCA families in the Antipolo project respond to the call to care for our Mother Earth by caring for our local environment through a program we call Clean and Green.

Clean and Green enhances CFCA sponsorship for our sponsored individuals and their families.

The Antipolo project uses ongoing training, lectures and discussion to incorporate Clean and Green into spirituality and way of life and to encourage families to consider the ecosystem.

As CFCA farming families learn irrigation methods for rice paddies and corn growing, more and more are gradually shifting away from the kaingin (slash and burn) way of farming. The families in urban areas promote waste management by reducing, reusing and recycling.

To reinforce this practice, we do not use disposable cups, plates or utensils; plastic wrappers; straws; and Styrofoam during our activities.

Our sponsored children, youth, their parents and the aging in kapitbahayans (small, caring communities) devote one to two hours every Saturday morning to cleaning up their surroundings, streets, canals and rivers. This contributes to disaster risk reduction.

Kapitbahayans grow plants and flowers in easement lots and open spaces to improve their communities. They cultivate these spaces for communal gardens of vegetables and medicinal plants. They can also share the harvest with neighbors.

A tree-planting activity takes place yearly. Most families plant the seeds from the fruits they eat. Many sponsored aging friends love this activity.

Though they say they may not witness the fruition of the trees they have planted, for them it is their gesture toward repaying the food they eat without the effort of growing it.

We have planted and nurtured thousands of trees. The ages of these trees range from younger than one year to more than 10 years old.

They are growing in backyards, along the roads, rivers, in the parks, open spaces, foothills, watershed and shores in the communities served by our three subprojects.

Fifteen sponsored youth leaders with parent advisers are graduates of a comprehensive training on holistic environmental education. This training discussed inner- and outer-ecology, and cosmic ecology.

They also learned about the making of bokashi balls (click here to read more about bokashi balls), an indigenous technology of effective micro-organisms that eliminates harmful bacteria from fresh waters. They facilitate the same training on weekends with the sponsored youth, children, mothers and fathers group leaders.

Earth Day parade, 2008

Earth Day parade, 2008

The Earth Day celebration is one of the most important events of the year for us.

This year, the families will celebrate Earth Day with a parade around the town or barangays (neighborhoods), and then they will watch a film and attend workshops on environmental concerns and climate change.

The fathers group, with CFCA families in the communities of Angono, will celebrate Earth Day with a parade around the town and will launch their commitment and initiatives to heal the dying Angono River. They made 14,000 bokashi balls to drop into the Angono River to help heal the river and its species.

In our little way, we can radiate to each other, to the children, youth, aging and families, our dedication to care for the environment and our special love for Mother Earth.

Happy Earth Day!

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Apr 13 2009

Dumagats celebrate nature

The Dumagats are an indigenous people of the Philippines who believe that nature is sacred. Every April, family members bring their pets and livestock and camp out along the river for five days to sing, dance, eat and give thanks for all that the earth has given them.

CFCA respects the Dumagats’ values and traditions and is working with them to help preserve their way of life. About 200 Dumagats are sponsored through CFCA’s Antipolo project.

In this video, the Dumagats are observing Paskuhan sa Tag-araw, a celebration of nature.

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Feb 16 2009

Bob’s notes – Visit to the Philippines

Mission awareness trip
Jan. 29 – Feb. 9, 2009

A warm welcome
Sponsored children in the Philippines welcome us with a smile and a song. Their choir of 20 sponsored children charmed everyone.
Welcome to the Philippines
With great admiration I note that our dear friend and longtime sponsor Jerry Menard has arrived in good health and great spirit. He currently has two children sponsored in the Philippines. I believe this mission awareness trip marks Jerryís seventh trip this year to visit sponsored children.

During lunch the owners of the Good Shepherd Center in Antipolo, where our group is staying, told me that after meeting the sponsors and learning about CFCA, they, too, want to become sponsors.

Two talented sponsored girls with severe physical limitations won our hearts with an emotional rendition of ìYou Light Up My Life.î Four personal testimonies added meaning and substance to the afternoon.

Visit to former sponsored child, elderly in dump

In Quezon, we split into small groups to visit families and livelihood projects. My group visited the home of Maria Elena, a former sponsored child, recently married and now working as a business analyst and auditor at a major bank. Riding jeepneys and tricycles takes Maria Elena the better part of two hours to get to work and costs about $2. But the work is steady, and Maria Elena is grateful to be able to help her mother.

We were able to visit several aging friends in the dump area of Payatas. They seem to overcome difficult living conditions with hope and determination.

Today after lunch we traveled about one hour into the countryside near Antipolo to encourage an organic and sustainable food/farming program for 21 families. We dedicated a new water pump and hand tractor, purchased with a loan from CFCA. The hand tractor motor also provides power for the new irrigation pump. The tractor and irrigation system permits the CFCA families to produce two rice crops per year – sometimes three.

Read more

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