Philippines: Farmland dodges local mudslides, recovers from storm; second fishery pond complete

Photo: Thanks to profits from our newly expanded fishery enterprise, our students will be better equipped at the start of the next school year.

Our facilities in the Philippines were rocked by tropical storm Seniang which hit the islands at the turn of the new year, leaving the region with 54 dead and 260,000 affected. It was a powerful storm spawning calamitous and deadly mudslides in the vicinity of our main campus. However, our elevated location just outside of the local town spared us from fatalities and severe damage to our girls home, 2 fishery ponds, hen house project, vegetable gardens, and banana grove. By God’s grace we are recovering well from the minor damage our facilities received.

The cold front of the storm did cause our hen house production levels to decrease for a short time, but thankfully egg production has returned to average levels. We hope that production will return to higher levels soon.

We are also excited to report that our new “fingerling pond” at our fishery on the island of Cebu is now complete. This additional, smaller pond will enable our native team to raise the young fish separate from the more mature fish, and feed the young fish the proper food for their health and development. The fishery expansion, coupled with our existing farmland efforts, will help us reach more children with education opportunities.

Our aid to the community includes scholarships and nutritional support for extremely impoverished children recovering from malnutrition or child labor situations, and a weekly outreach to children in various locations around the island. These weekly outreaches usually take place on a Saturday, and average about 100 children in attendance. The program is styled after a VBS day camp feel, but also includes serving of fresh meals, dental hygiene training and distribution of toothbrushes and toothpaste — on the island, 3 out of 4 children suffer from tooth decay by the age of 6.

Currently we enroll over 400 children in school annually, and this year we aim to do more for these students by providing higher quality school supplies and teaching aids than in previous years. With generous contributions from our donors, along with profits from our expanded fishery as well as our on-campus vegetable gardens, a hen house that produces over 24 dozen eggs a day, and a banana grove that yields over 6,000 bananas a year we are able to extend our programs to the children.

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