ROFP’s Tacloban Feeding Station has resumed its operations! For this project, we partnered with Youth with a Mission (YWAM) Tacloban. From 15 kids we served last year at this station, we now have 30 kids!
On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, our Tacloban feeding coordinator, Wheng (also a YWAM Tacloban leader) starts to cook the lunch meals or baon at 3:30 in the morning. YWAM youth volunteers come by about two hours later to help her pack the lunchboxes. The meals, as you may already know are composed of nutritious meat and veggie dishes that Filipinos call ulam, fortified rice, and fruit. By six, Wheng and one of the young people deliver the food by motorcycle to Aringet. This is a small neighborhood where they meet and distribute the meals to the kids getting ready for school.
Wheng wants to teach the kids how to be responsible. She has instructed them to wash their lunchboxes when they are done eating, and give them to Genea and Jillian.
Genea and Jillian are siblings who are part of the 30 beneficiaries. They come from a very big family as they have 13 more siblings. Their mom works as a janitress and their dad operates a backhoe from time to time. Seven of the kids in their family are part of #ProjectBaon. One of their brothers, Jasper, a high school student, helps pack and deliver the meals.
Some days, Genea and Jillian find that some of the lunchboxes are not clean enough. When this happens, the siblings rewash the lunchboxes before they return them to Wheng. There are also days when some of the kids forget to return the lunch boxes, so the two go looking for them. Not only are the kids being fed, they are also being taught how to be responsible.
Thank you very much, dear partners, for your continuous support! We’re hoping to bring you more good news in our next report as we are preparing to open three more Project Baon sites soon.
Our feeding programs thrive because of your generous donations and also because of feeding coordinators and volunteers who work hard to prepare, cook and serve food to children in need. Today, we have a total of 12 coordinators and at least 30 volunteers who aim to feed, nourish and empower kids in the Philippines
Pastor Miguel Gallo is one of them. He is our feeding coordinator for Sitio Dumpsite. Even before he joined ROFP, Pastor Mike, as he is called by many, wanted to conduct a feeding program there. He had been eyeing the community for a long time because of the poor quality of life there. His heart yearned to make a difference in the community. He was offered help many times by people and organizations pledging support through Manna Pack provision. However, this was not enough as he could not serve just rice—a standard meal in the Philippines is plain boiled rice with an ulam of vegetables or a meat or fish dish. But finally, a very good offer came. Not only would this new group provide Manna Pack; it would also provide ulam and fruits for the feeding. That is when Pastor Mike decided to join ROFP.
He considers joining us as a breakthrough for him. He described himself with the quote “Jack of all trades but master of none” because he worked on several projects but saw little success in them. Thankfully, he was able to focus on a mission and see its success because of the feeding program at Sitio Dumpsite.
Pastor Mike fed an average of 45 kids from Monday to Friday from November 6, 2018 to March 22, 2019. The primary success that he had seen was the weight added to the children. If you can remember JC from our previous reports, this is him now (see photo at the end). Before the feeding program, he's so frail he can't stand on his own. But now, he can run fast! Also, Pastor Mike is glad that the feeding program is achieving ROFP’s tagline FEED NOURISH EMPOWER. The kids are fed, their weight increased, and their lives are being empowered little by little.
Through the feeding program, he and his team are also able to share the love of Jesus not only with the children but also with the mothers present. It is very important for Pastor Mike to tend not only to the physical needs of the people but also to their spiritual needs. Pastor Mike is glad that he is able to plant seeds of God’s Word in the hearts of these children. He is hoping that the seeds he has sown will grow in God’s perfect time.
There are three things that Pastor Mike likes the most about his work with ROFP. First he was given the opportunity to make a difference at Sitio Dumpsite; second he now can reach the people and minister to their physical, moral and spiritual needs; and lastly, he can now finally start on working on the community development projects that he dreamed of. Pastor Mike is planning to build a community development center that is at least 50 sq. meters at Sitio Dumpsite. He plans to conduct programs such as Alternative Learning System (ALS)1, and skills training in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)2.
According to Pastor Mike, ROFP serves about 30% to 40% of the undernourished children at Sitio Dumpsite. Today, he is working on the Summer Meals program and on June #ProjectBaon will resume.
Please continue to support us through prayers and donations until we see a better future for the community.
1ALS is a parallel learning system in the Philippines that provides a practical option to the existing formal instruction. It is usually taken by students who did not earn a high school diploma but wants to enter college.2TESDA is a government agency tasked to manage and supervise technical education and skills development (TESDA) in the Philippines.
Tacloban City is our newest location for Project Baon. In November 2013, this city was devastated by the big typhoon (storm surge) Haiyan/Yolanda. This is known as one of the strongest typhoon ever recorded. The city and its neighbor communities were so damaged. Now we are working with a group of young people who give their hearts to Tacloban. They started the program before November 2018 ends with 20 undernourished kids. Prior to this, Reach Out Feed Philippines has been assisting them in their several outreach locations in the city with average 50 kids coming every Saturday. After several months of doing the Saturday outreach, Rowena together with Jeneca decided to do the Project Baon. They dedicated themselves to make good and nutritious food to the school children. In the morning the kids will pass by their place to get their “baon” (lunchboxes) and that will be their food for lunch. In the afternoon, they will pass by their place again to return the empty lunchboxes. Good thing the place was in between their houses and the school. Rowena also gives time to visit the school kids and check with their teachers how are they doing in school and she is very pleased to hear the feedback.
The kids are always excited to see what food they will get for lunch. Rowena and Jeneca were very creative with what food to serve them. It is important to have a variety of food so that the kids will not get tired of what they are eating. Last December Christmas program, the kids together with their parents expressed how thankful they are for the Project Baon. They were thankful not just in the financial aspect but also the kids’ health. Their performance in school also has changed. A big Thank you from the Project Baon Tacloban!
In addition, 4650 meals were served by Reach Out Feed Philippines the last 3 months. An average of 270 kids were being served on a weekly basis. Your support makes a big impact to the kids and the community we are serving. Thank you so much!
In the beginning of October a new #ProjectBaon program started in Tarece Day Care Center, San Carlos City (North Luzon) with 58 preschoolers and before the end of the same month Sitio Dumpsite Antipolo City (National Capital Region area) started another #ProjectBaon with 35 particapating children.
The beneficiaries from the Day Care Center are indigents which means these kids are from the poorest families in the area. They were so thankful that their kids were chosen to be a part of the program.
The newest location was Sitio Dumpsite. The place was once a garbage dump but because of complaints from neighbor areas they stopped dumping garbage in the area. This was one place in Antipolo where we found JC Rado. We have been doing a regular outreach program (Saturday Feeding Program) in this area for quite sometime but we have never seen JC. Then one day when we are on search to find new beneficiaries in the community, doing house to house to check if there are undernourished kids, we found JC. He is so thin that he cannot walk on his own. He is 11 years old but weighs only 9.1 kilos which is the normal weight of a 20-month old baby. JC lost his father some time ago and his mother and step father collects plastic bottles and other junks to earn a living. They lack food that sometimes he will only eat rice soaked in coffee just to survive the day. Our hearts dropped as we hear his story. JC cannot come to the Feeding location so we decided to bring food to his house so he can eat a proper meal. Then a week after, to our surprise, JC came to the location walking with the help of her mother. In a week, JC weighs 10.15 kilos, he gained more than 1 kilo in a week! We are all satisfied with the result. This is only the result of a once a day feeding program that we do.
There are more children like JC that needs people who will really care for them and we know that each one of us have something to contribute to stand and fight malnutrition. Thank you so much for all your support to us as we feed, nourish and empower. We can all make a difference!
#ProjectBaon have served over 4,570 meals to undernourished kids in schools, churches, hospital and in the poor communities in the last 8 months.
We also have 3 new locations in the Central and Southern part of the country. This area in 2013 was devastated by typhoon Haiyan (or Yolanda in the Philippines), so many people have lost their houses, properties and they even lost those who are dear to them. Last July from the Visayas Region, we got to start a new location in Tacloban City. We hope to feed more children in this area and help build their place again by reaching out to the future of the community - the children.
Matthew, 6 years old from Tacloban City is from a very poor family background. With 14 children in his family, no doubt he didn't get enough from the food served on their table. He is second to the last child and the parents said he is having a hard time with comprehension. Since July, he has gained some weight. The coordinator from Tacloban also his parents said that they have seen some changes in him over the last months. He became more attentive to teachers and learning more and more to follow instructions.
Trento Agusan del Sur and Kitaotao Bukidnon is in Mindanao region. These 2 communities were so excited that the program have reached them. Both started this month and they were so happy and looking forward to see the result of the kids being nourished.
Lorena and Bobby Linggan of Kitaotao Bukidnon have been desiring to start a feeding program in their community. There are about 100 kids in their location and more than half of them are suffering from poor nutrition. They are reaching out to a tribal group called Matigsalog and they were overwhelmed when Reach Out Feed Philippines reached their place. They have launched their first feeding program last August 4th.
Currently we are feeding about 400 children on a weekly basis. We are grateful for all the support towards Reach Out Feed Philippines!
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