Opportunities for sustainable change are abundant, even in a time of upheaval. It's a time to address what is/isn't working towards the development of community resilience.
Community resilience is the ability of communities to respond, protect, and recover from emergencies. Annual occurrences of hurricanes, typhoons, and earthquakes negatively impacts the lives and health of Filipinos, a country already entrenched in poverty.
Philippine government takes disaster mitigation and recovery seriously and have implemented policies and resources towards mitigation and capacity building. But food security and nutrition is challenging for a country that relies on food imports. Any disruptions in the food system can disproportionately alter food security and nutrition to children and families. And on a global scale, the fragility of these systems manifest in reduced foreign aid, aid usually relied at times of great vulnerability.
A movement has been growing to localize food and improve access to nutritious foods. Local government, community members, NGOs, and research institutions are taking a grassroots framework to build community resilience by finding ways to strengthen food security by encouraging Filipinos to plant vegetable gardens in their backyard and in their communities.
Community gardens is a great way to build community resilience not just with growing and having access to vegetables, but for Filipinos to have a direct involvement in mitigating food insecurity. With our direct fiscal support, HAND-Philippines is part of this movement to catalyze change and opportunity during COVID-19 by targeting projects with local and long-term implications for sustainability.
The first project, the community garden of Gawad Kalinga is an example of community building resilience and localizing food security. An excerpt from the blog written by Cristina Sison highlights: "the community vegetable garden cultivates not only the soil for planting but also the “bayanihan” system which also brings out a sense of ownership among the residents of the village..." (para. 7).