At the end of May, 2016, NVC Foundation began to operate in its 21st province: Bukidnon in Mindanao, Southern Philippines.
An online article in Rappler.com about children of the mountains of Bukidnon, surviving only on a piece of cassava a day, brought us in search of these children.
The search led us to the Tala-andig Tribe of Barangay Kibangay, in Lantapan, Bukidnon. Here in the tribe, women marry at 14 years old because they have no better options, children smile though their hungry little stomachs grumble, and opportunities for a better life are wanting.
What does NVC do in Bukidnon?
We provide Mingo Meals to infants, toddlers, and schoolchildren up to Grade 6 for a 5-year period, until parents are financially ready to provide proper meals for their families. This means about 3,000 meals daily to ensure that all Tala-andig children have nourishment for both body and mind.
Steady donations have allowed us to enroll an increasing number of children in NVC’s Mingo Meals program that provides them with access to their daily dose of Mingo, but as of January 2017, not all of the children have found sponsors.
Livelihood and Food Security
We are working with farmers in the area to move towards more efficient farming practices and planting high value crops. This will increase their income from the land.
We are also helping the community find alternative income sources for women, such as planting sustainable home gardens and growing livestock. This is both to increase food supply for their families, and to improve their standing in the community.
We equip community schoolteachers with teaching manuals and teacher training, providing them with more skills to teach the children of the tribe. We also help fulfill the other basic requirements of the tribal schools until they can be absorbed into the Philippine public school system.
For young women whose parents can’t afford to send them to high school and college in the lowland and usually marry in their early teens, we are looking for donors who can fund their high school education that will expand their horizons and open up much opportunities in their adult years.
Because of the immense need of this community, NVC accepts any amount of cash donation that we will channel to the most urgent requirement. Contributions will be pooled to fund the following: Mingo Meals for malnourished infants and toddlers of the community, educational support for the schoolteachers and children, or livelihood provision for adults in the community.