By Carla P. Gomez – Correspondent
BACOLOD CITY — The campaign of the Negrense Volunteers for Change Foundation (NVCF) to provide nutritional support for children in resettlement areas in war-torn Marawi City has been given an added boost through a donation of more than P1.7 million from Sunlife Foundation.
The donation will provide 623 children of Marawi with daily nutritious Mingo Meals, made of rice, mung bean and malunggay (moringa), for the next six months, according to NVCF president Millie Kilayko.
The children covered by the feeding program are among the thousands displaced by war who are now staying at the Balay Pag-asa and Bakwit village resettlement areas in Marawi.
The Sunlife grant also covered the improvement of a learning center for 120 children in Bakwit and their learning tools and art supplies, Kilayko said.
The feeding program is a continuation of the NVCF drive in Marawi that was initially funded by Bacolod Tay Tung High School students who raised money from a concert called “Harmony for Marawi.”
NVCF was among the first Negros Occidental-based organizations that responded to the call for help when the Marawi siege broke out in May last year.
On May 28 last year, NVCF sent its first shipment of Mingo Meals to the evacuation centers. So far, it had sent 521,382 meals to evacuees, Kilayko said.
Since this month, NVCF has provided 7,173,336 Mingo Meals to children in 34 provinces, she added.
A NVCF team led by Kilayko and executive director Milette Regalado and field officer Alyne Batano last week also distributed sewing machines for livelihood of Marawi women. The machines were donated by an Australian who preferred to remain anonymous.
In the past seven years, NVCF had brought relief not only to the poorest of the poor in Negros Occidental and Bukidnon provinces but also to victims of supertyphoon “Yolanda” and the Zamboanga siege.
“In the course of the work we do, we are often humbled when our own beneficiaries—be they of boats, pedicabs or food—
transform themselves into donors by sending us donations for NVCF initiatives like LoveBags for tribal kids, Mingo Meals nutrition program or even emergency relief efforts like what we did when the war in Marawi broke out,” Kilayko said.
“Their selfless acts complete the cycle of love. Beside them, we feel so small and they have become our inspiration and motivation to keep finding ways to serve. Serving Marawi is but one of them,” she added.