Foundation acquires Sogod farmland to help feed Cebu’s malnourished kids
SOGOD, Cebu – A foundation founded by an American couple has purchased farmland in the Municipality of Sogod, northern Cebu and planted it with fruits and vegetables intended for the province’s malnourished kids.
Randolf Pagaran, farm manager of Rise and Build Foundation-Cebu said, the foundation was started by Ray and Debra Goodson who were at first overwhelmed by the lack of comfort rooms at a school in Leyte Province.
As they were scouting to find sites for comfort rooms, they also discovered that most of the kids there are malnourished so they built a Nutrition Center in Babatngon, Leyte at the request of the teachers.
The teachers told the Goodsons that 70 percent of the 500 students at the school are malnourished.
Friends of the Goodsons, so touched by this situation, provided most of the funding for the Nutrition Center.
“We build and furnish the buildings, the government provides the food, the teachers and students grow a vegetable garden to supplement their daily food, and the parents cook,” said Debra Goodson.
Rise and Build Foundation was also supported by LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in building the comfort rooms, the Nutrition Center, their outpatient services and others.
Just recently, the Rise and Build Foundation acquired nine hectares of farmland in Barangay Ampongol in the Municipality of Sogod, Cebu and planted it with 15 varieties of vegetables and fruits using modern farming methods. The Department of Agriculture and the Philippine Coconut Authority also supported the foundation.
According to Pagaran, there are several Nutrition Centers in the municipalities of Cebu that will receive supplies from the farm.
He said, the foundation also funded the building of these Nutrition Centers where food is cooked, stored and distributed to children.
The Sogod farm was launched yesterday attended by Sogod Mayor Richard Estregan and town officials, Elder and Sister Whitmore representing LDS Charities, Elder Edwin Butch Colipapa of the LDS Public Affairs (Cebu East) and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints led by Lilo-an Stake President Elmer Juntilla.
In a speech, Mayor Estregan thanked the foundation for helping address not only the problem of malnutrition in the province but of unemployment as well by creating employment opportunities to the villagers.
“Kini nga lugar mahimo usab nga inspirasyon ngadto sa uban nga mananom usab sa tagsa-tagsa nila ka mga luna pinaagi sa mga pamaagi nga gitudlo dinhi,” said the mayor. (This place can also be an inspiration to others to do gardening in their respective areas using the ways they are doing here).
Local residents who are applying for a job at the foundation are currently being trained in farming. piggery, poultry and tilapia raising. /rcg
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