Yes, it has been a busy month. This time, though, I’m with another company-run club I joined: MicroMissions with MS Volunteers Club. We partnered with GreenEarth Heritage Foundation which is based at Manalmon, Sitio Madlum, San Miguel Bulacan. Hey, I did say in the previous blog that I’ll try to go back when I can, didn’t I? It just happened to be sooner than expected. 😉
Our purpose for this event is to plant narra trees at the foothills of Manalmon where the GreenEarth community is situated. I have always wanted to join volunteering activities that advocate children’s welfare and environment conservation, and I am so glad that I’m starting this journey in my hometown. Coincidences like this make me feel like God is letting me know that I’m on the right track.
Please do read up on GreenEarth’s mission and if you want to volunteer for them, their website has useful information that will lead you to the right people.
Our day started with a truck ride from Brgy. Sibul to Sitio Madlum. It brought back memories of my school days when we used to hitch rides up the truck beds to go to an athletic meet or a Girl Scout event held at a nearby barangay.
The trip only took 20 minutes, but it was such an experience seeing the green landscape with the view of the Sierra Madre in the distance, crossing a river, and hanging on for dear life while we go through the rough roads.
My dear friends, Aimee and Tafs, volunteered with me.
We were welcomed by a very touching sight of children singing, and I swear I’ll remember that forever. Back in grade school, we used to do programs like that when there are visitors, and had I known how moving it was for the recipient, I’d have done a better job at singing.
Before planting trees, Aileen DeOcampo, the Farm Manager and Site Administration, led our group to a tour. She has been the POC for this annual event for three years now. Ms. Aileen showed us the farm where they cultivate the crops that the community needs, and the laboratory and facility where they make their delicious moringa tea. Through these, the foundation is able to provide jobs for the residents and help them sustain a livelihood. They also have an on-going scholarship program that helps send good students to college, with some help from partners from the private sector.
Saying I learned a lot is an understatement. It is empowering to see people go out of their way to build a haven of support that teaches its members the value of honest work and being content with slow yet progressive movement. No one is being spoonfed, and everyone relies on one another to deliver according to their role in the community. What they can’t provide or grow from within their organization, they seek from the government or private companies using fair trade of product or service. Truly, once you break down a complex network into smaller components, you’ll find that the simple solutions make the biggest difference.
After we had our fun playing in the dirt and planting trees in the process, it’s time to entertain the kids! Our group prepared some art materials and soon enough, we are deep into creating our masterpieces.
As a parting gift, the cute kids sang us songs again! So sweet!
By the end of the day, and with my mind full of new knowledge about the foundation’s current developmental programs, future plans, and the challenges they face, I am even more keen on helping them in ways I’m capable of. The thing is, they are not asking much, the simple act of planting trees or buying a box of all-natural moringa tea is something most of us can do if our hearts are really into it. Time, sincerity and a little bit of effort can go a long way.