Wednesday, May 9, 2012

World Vision Community Revisited

It was almost ten years ago when I first visited Shoreline, a World Vision assisted community in Naic Cavite for more than 20 years. My visit then was part of an “emersion” where I and 15 other trainees were exposed to some of the projects of World Vision where sponsored children and their families are the main beneficiaries. The experience for me then was something very memorable and “ground breaking” so to speak. I never thought that a few days stay in Naic Cavite would brought me to a life changing journey that made me of what I am today.

Last April 1, 2012, I had the opportunity to visit Shoreline again, but this time as a blogger. I, my son Gab and nine other bloggers were invited by World Vision to meet the children and families once helped by World Vision. Since, the visit is very familiar to me already; the emersion part of the trip would be for the others who have visited the community for the first time.

But when I we got to the place, I felt a different feeling. I felt like an OFW who came home after so many years abroad. I met familiar faces but can’t remember their names and a girl name Joy who once a sponsored child when I first met her is now all grown up and already a part of World Vision as a field staff was a nostalgic experience.

The bloggers vision trip was part of a campaign of the community to clean up the beaches of Maragondon. The group was divided into three teams and was given a task to gather as much trash as we can to fill up a sack. As we roamed the place, our group was accompanied by three kids to guided us where to go. The kids are actually in their late teens and are now in college. They’re education is now being assisted by Shoreline Development Foundation as part of the peoples organization’s scholarship program. I was amazed to see how Shoreline has fully developed. A community once helped by World Vision many years ago is now a sustained Peoples organization where they replicate development initiatives on their own to neighboring villages and barangays.

Shoreline clean-up drive...

Fresh buko juice courtesy of Shoreline community...

After a tiring and yet a fun-filled morning, we all went back to our base and was received by some of the community leaders where they treated us with thirst-quenching fresh buko juice which was gathered by the Barangay Captain himself. Shortly, we left the place and went to one of Shoreline’s livelihood projects where mothers taught us how to make indigenous bags made out of Water Lily stalks. Luckily, some of the bloggers were given the opportunity to try making them as well and was very proud of the outcome of the finish product.

Woven water lily stalks is pressed on a machine

Our finish product...

After which, we proceeded to Shoreline’s most proud achievement, the Daluyan Resource Center. Daluyan is a resort, where by the stake holders of the property are the community themselves. It is governed by board of trustees where the community leaders are the members and who also run the whole business operations. Many years back, Daluyan is used to be called CRC or the Community Resource Center of World Vision. It was a project in partnership with Shoreline Development Foundation to provide World Vision and its community assisted areas a venue where staff and families can conduct community consultations and trainings on development. It was born from a seed fund given by World Vision Japan during the late 90’s. From a simple building facility, it grew into a full scale business enterprise where other groups and organizations can avail of its facilities in very reasonable rates.

Daluyan is quite different from other resorts because most of the food served there are self-produced. From the vegetables, fruits and even live-stocks such as pigs and chickens are organically raised by the community staff of Daluyan. Our group is so fortunate to have the opportunity of not just eating these produce but also had the fun of harvesting them as well in the farm adjacent to the resort. Shortly after, the staff of Daluyan treated us in the most memorable and fun way of eating the resort’s own harvest. It’s called “budol” fight, where the foods are served on a layer of banana leaves spread on the dining table where we all ate with our hands.

 Fresh vegetables...

Organically raised livestock...

Finally, the group went to Ebenezer project of World Vision in Palapala, Dasmarinas, Cavite, half an hour drive from Naic. Ebenezer is a little different from Shoreline because it is located in a urban-poor community, where informal settlers house themselves in a tight and small shanty houses. We were gathered in an area where families and sponsored children often meet regularly. The staff was so delighted meet us and show off their livelihood handicraft products made out of juice pack that is normally thrown away as garbage. These creative products are part of their way of reducing and recycling plastic garbage in their community. The products of Ebenezer and shoreline are both being marketed in malls in Metro Manila and are quite in demand among foreign tourists. 

After a long and tiring and yet fun filled day, all of us went back to Manila with not just some take-home loots from the community and pictures but most importantly, we have gathered tons of memories and stories of real people to tell others. We were saddened to see how real poverty is in the lives of the people of Naic and Dasmarinas but at the same time was comforted that in the right approach these same people can rise up from poverty and finally make their dreams more attainable. 

As bloggers with a considerable influence in the social media, our tasks now is to affect our readers who often live on a more comfortable conditions to be less apathetic and to be mindful of the plight of countless people who live beyond their thresh hold. Most importantly as media we can also inspire them to help and share their resources to those who have none. My first visit to Cavite many years ago have changed my views about my existence in this world and that, I’m not just living my life for myself but also for others that whatever circumstances their lives have become, affects me in a very special way. 

About World Vision: 

World Vision is an international development and relief organization that has been working with the poorest of the poor communities in the Philippines for almost 60 years through child sponsorship. For only P600 a month or P20 a day, an individual can help a poor child go to school and help his or her family and community rise up from poverty.

Visit World Vision at: 

Photos courtesy of Orange MagazineTV and Daluyan FB page

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