Host Organization: International Association for Transformation
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR TRANSFORMATION
The International Association for Transformation (IAT) is a non-profit organization in Canada with branches in the Philippines and Costa Rica. They tackle issues ranging from youth leadership to environmental stewardship. Its Child Sponsorship Program provides hundreds of underprivileged children with the opportunity to receive education, from elementary- to university-level. The majority of IAT program graduates are now working in their own communities to help improve living conditions. Learn more about IAT at: www.iatcan.org
One component of IAT’s educational focus is helping indigenous people establish Montessori-based daycares in remote villages of the Kalinga Province in the northern Philippines. Many villagers in this region are unable to use the fertile and arable land around their homes due to the wild animals that wander freely in search of food, contributing to crop damage. Most families have one or two small rice paddies, but combined with the ecologically harmful slash-and-burn farming, many do not end up with an adequate amount of food or a reliable income.
EPN partnered with IAT to develop fertile land near the villagers’ huts, on which nutritious vegetables can be planted and maintained sustainably in the long-run. This project consisted of providing hands-on workshops and training sessions on all aspects of organic backyard gardening for families in the selected villages. There were twenty-one families (around 170 people) who were direct beneficiaries, and hundreds of other villagers who would potentially benefit from the access to the additional produce and opportunities to increase their knowledge of organic gardening, nutrition and sanitation.
The goals of this venture were to:
- Improve sanitation by keeping animals at a safe distance from homes.
- Supplement diets with nutritious food that will help improve the health of villagers.
- Improve the children’s capacity to attend and succeed in school.
- Generate income for families through the sale of extra produce to other villagers.
- Motivate other villagers to follow suit by creating a successful model of sustainable backyard gardens.
Beneficiaries of the EPN-IAT joint venture