Gawad Kalinga

BA holds successful Goodbye Gutom Day!

by admin on Aug.04, 2010, under Community Building, Volunteer Support

By Marjorie Ann Duterte

BICOL region – Bayan-Anihan, GK’s food sufficiency program, held a successful Goodbye Gutom day on July 24, 2010 at GK Bongliw, Puro Obias Hernandez village in San Jose, Camarines Sur. The event brought together Bayan-Anihan’ s multi-sectoral partners from the government, corporations, academe, the private sector and the GK kapitbahayan (community).

Mayor Antonio Chavez welcomed the hunger warriors to his town while Pilipinas Shell Foundation program manager Pam Castro affirmed their partnership with BA as one of the programs that Shell greatly believes in, for providing the sustainable solution to hunger in the Philippines.

Ronnel Lucero from the GK Bongliw community shared how having his own farm-plot augmented the needs of his family. He said that he no longer had to borrow to buy food since his family can already harvest vegetables from their own farm. Whatever expenses he saves on food, Kuya Ronnel uses for the education of his children and to pay for the motorcycle he uses for his work as a door-to-door salesman.

Department of Agriculture chief field operations OIC Rose Imperial also graced the event. “Being mandated to produce more food, we cannot do this without our partnership with Bayan-Anihan, ” she said. GK Bayan-Anihan and the Agriculture Department were able to build 400 farms in 2009 which yielded 65,000 metric tons of vegetables. They are now targeting to build 1,000 farms in 2011 to feed 500,000 people for life.

“With Bayan-Anihan, we are able to set higher targets, for a hunger-free CamSur, of the 45 GK Shell farms in the Bicol Region, 23 can be found here,” shared Ms. Imperial.

“The war against hunger has begun. We are marching towards a hunger-free Philippines, ” she said. The Agriculture Department provides the GK communities with seedlings, fruit-bearing trees, medicinal plans and fertilizers.

The Central Bicol State University of Agriculture represented by Professor Jess Oses related how their students lived for 6 weeks in the GK communities as part of their course to share and apply their knowledge with the GK kapitbahayan. He rleated that faculty members and their students felt the relief that GK families expressed in having their own Bayan-Anihan farms.

Delia Hernandez Aladin, shared on behalf of the Obias family who donated the 1.3 hectares land to the GK community encouraging the residents to take care of their farms, so that they will not be hungry again.

Gawad Kalinga father Tony Meloto noted that we are now preparing for the next generation. “Ang pagbabago ng Pilipinas ay nasa pamamagitan ng pagmamahal, tiwala at pagkakaisa.” (Change in the Philippines will come through love, trust and unity).

“Ito po ay pagmamahal sa Diyos, pagmamahal sa bayan. Pangarap natin hanggang 2024, in 6 years we will end hunger,” he said. (This is love for God, love for country. Our dream is until until 2024, in 6 years we will end hunger).

“This is now the season of hope, we will bring the country out of hunger, out of endlessness, and out poverty,” Meloto declared.

Goodbye Gutom day which happened simultaneously in 4 sites namely Camarines Sur, Tarlac, Davao and Bacolod, ended with a symbolic soil ceremony where the people grabbed soil with their hands and made the oath of commitment to carry on the movement’s ideals and aspirations by serving as sources of inspiration, encouraging more and more people to join in the country’s fight against hunger.

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