Tag: Malou Navio

Oct 14 2009

My experience with Typhoon Ondoy

This personal account of Antipolo Project Coordinator Malou Navio’s experience during Typhoon Ondoy (also called Ketsana) just arrived. Malou said the staff has to travel through alleys on balsa boats to reach CFCA families. Many of them are scattered in different evacuation centers. At present, the homes of 1,024 Antipolo families are submerged in floodwaters.

The downpour of heavy rains began at dawn on Sept. 26. Then it became unusual in the morning. I was working at the office that time. I and six other staff left our office to sweep away the rain water continuously pouring in and preventing access to the room of the community workers. Some staff moved the folders and documents hurriedly from the lowest drawers of the filing cabinets onto the top of the cabinets and desks.

The height of the floodwater on the street in front of our office was getting high. I left them while they were still sweeping to rush home because a niece of mine called telling me that our home was flooded. The place to pass through going home flooded to chest level. My niece and sister-in-law said they were trapped on the second floor of our home.

Then, on the street where I stopped, I witnessed peopleóchildren and older personsówet and chilled. People were helping to guide one another to where to pass safely. I saw people scampering to their rooftops. All were looking for elevated places to stand. Some women were crying with their children. I helped a mother with a newborn baby wet from the flood and brought them in the office until the rain and flooding subsided.

We are used to flooding but it was the first time we experienced that kind. Our town and many other towns turned into a water world. Three of our staff with seven ERPAT (fathers group) officers were stranded for two days in Teresa, Rizal, while conducting a seminar in school with parent leaders.

Relief effortsIn the Antipolo project, eight of us live in different places. Our homes were inundated, and our streets are still flooded.

We appreciate the alertness of the leaders and ERPAT fathers for their effort to rescue. One of them is recovering now from severe injury.

I conducted emergency meetings with the staff and parent leaders to discuss strategy for rescue and relief. The staff and I with ERPAT leaders took turns cooking meals to bring to evacuation centers where sponsored members were staying. I went with other staff to the different communities where I was able to see the situation of the sponsored members and their devastated homes, and I listened to their stories.

I strongly believe, as do many of them (one of them is Ricardo, the father of Rachel, a sponsored girl whose story I shared), that this is happening because of the climate change and the global warming. We sustain the sponsorship program with a commitment to care for Godís creation.


Related links
The story of Rachel

Oct 12 2009

Moringa trees in the Philippines

Oct. 16 is World Food Day, created in 1979 to increase awareness of the global food problem. In light of this event, we will be doing our part to raise awareness of simple, natural ways to combat malnutrition and hunger. Because CFCA spends more money on nutrition-related benefits than any other, our project staff and families are very creative when it comes to sustainable options. For example, in a recent report from the Philippines, we learned that CFCA families plant moringa trees. Not only is this tree extremely nutritious, but itís drought-resistant AND most of the tree can be used. Although this is the first time weíve heard of this tree, our projects are very familiar with its benefits. This week, you will hear how several projects incorporate this ìmiracleî tree into the CFCA program.

Llyod climbs the moringa tree to harvest the tiny leaves.
Llyod harvests the tiny moringa leaves.

Q&A with Malou Navio, Antipolo, Philippines, project coordinator

  1. You said in the Clean and Green report that CFCA families plant moringa trees. How do they use the trees?
    The moringa tree is a popular, indigenous herb to us and to people in the communities. Its matured bark is scraped to get a teaspoonful of shavings to mix with a cup of hot or cold water to make a tea known to cleanse the urinary tract. It can also be used as an antiseptic.

The young branch can also be used as plaster liniment. We start with a six-inch cutting, then make it flat, add a little oil, then heat it. When it warms to a tolerable temperature, put on the painful area to relieve the pain.

Moringa seeds can be used as water purifier. Just pound the seeds then place them in the water jug or jar.

2. How do you care for the moringa trees?
Just water the moringa tree during dry season. In rainy season, elevate the soil around the trees. Moringa will die if water sits for long around its roots. Pruning is also helpful to sprout more branches.

3. If the leaves are used for food, how do you prepare moringa? How do you eat it?
We thresh the leaves from its stem. It can be incorporated almost in all viands — soups, noodles, sweets, snacks, burgers and juice. It is prepared just like an ordinary cabbage or spinach.

4. Can you harvest the tree at any time of the year or only certain seasons?
Moringa can be harvested at any time of the year when there are enough leaves. For a large tree, we can harvest twice weekly.

Apr 22 2009

‘Clean and Green’ in the Philippines

By Malou Navio, Antipolo project coordinator

Caring for the communal gardens.Project staff and Unbound families in the Antipolo project respond to the call to care for our Mother Earth by caring for our local environment through a program we call Clean and Green.

Clean and Green enhances Unbound sponsorship for our sponsored individuals and their families.

The Antipolo project uses ongoing training, lectures and discussion to incorporate Clean and Green into spirituality and way of life and to encourage families to consider the ecosystem.

As Unbound farming families learn irrigation methods for rice paddies and corn growing, more and more are gradually shifting away from the kaingin (slash and burn) way of farming. The families in urban areas promote waste management by reducing, reusing and recycling.

To reinforce this practice, we do not use disposable cups, plates or utensils; plastic wrappers; straws; and Styrofoam during our activities.

Our sponsored children, youth, their parents and the aging in kapitbahayans (small, caring communities) devote one to two hours every Saturday morning to cleaning up their surroundings, streets, canals and rivers. This contributes to disaster risk reduction.

Kapitbahayans grow plants and flowers in easement lots and open spaces to improve their communities. They cultivate these spaces for communal gardens of vegetables and medicinal plants. They can also share the harvest with neighbors.

A tree-planting activity takes place yearly. Most families plant the seeds from the fruits they eat. Many sponsored aging friends love this activity.

Though they say they may not witness the fruition of the trees they have planted, for them it is their gesture toward repaying the food they eat without the effort of growing it.

We have planted and nurtured thousands of trees. The ages of these trees range from younger than one year to more than 10 years old.

They are growing in backyards, along the roads, rivers, in the parks, open spaces, foothills, watershed and shores in the communities served by our three subprojects.

Fifteen sponsored youth leaders with parent advisers are graduates of a comprehensive training on holistic environmental education. This training discussed inner- and outer-ecology, and cosmic ecology.

They also learned about the making of bokashi balls (click here to read more about bokashi balls), an indigenous technology of effective micro-organisms that eliminates harmful bacteria from fresh waters. They facilitate the same training on weekends with the sponsored youth, children, mothers and fathers group leaders.

Earth Day parade, 2008

Earth Day parade, 2008

The Earth Day celebration is one of the most important events of the year for us.

This year, the families will celebrate Earth Day with a parade around the town or barangays (neighborhoods), and then they will watch a film and attend workshops on environmental concerns and climate change.

The fathers group, with Unbound families in the communities of Angono, will celebrate Earth Day with a parade around the town and will launch their commitment and initiatives to heal the dying Angono River. They made 14,000 bokashi balls to drop into the Angono River to help heal the river and its species.

In our little way, we can radiate to each other, to the children, youth, aging and families, our dedication to care for the environment and our special love for Mother Earth.

Happy Earth Day!