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Stories from the Field

A Grandmother’s Mission to Help Her Family and Community in the Philippines

Janae C Author
By Janae Curtain on September 2, 2020

Living in a rural community in Iloilo, Philippines, life hasn’t always been easy for 55-year-old Fe.  Most people in Fe’s community find work and earn income as farmers and hired laborers. Houses there are built from light materials like plywood and galvanized metal sheets, and water is drawn from manual pumps. Struggling to maintain a steady income, Fe became a participant of an empowerment program in her community. With the help of partner International Care Ministries’ (ICM) Transform program, Fe began to receive Rise Against Hunger meals for her family.

Every day, Fe prepares Rise Against Hunger meals with coconut milk, as well as making the meals into porridge for her family. The nutritious meals are distributed to malnourished children enrolled in ICM’s Home-Based Feeding program, in which Fe’s granddaughter Norafe was enrolled. Fe has witnessed how the Rise Against Hunger meals helped her granddaughter Norafe and the other children recover from malnutrition.

“The participants and their children have become healthy,” she said. “They look better now.”

Virginia, Pastor of the Transform Community where Fe was a participant, said she remembers how thin and pale Fe’s granddaughter, Norafe, was before enrolling in the program. Getting to know Fe over time, she saw how much Fe loved and cared for her granddaughter and the rest of her family.

Virginia could see how much the Rise Against Hunger meals were helping Norafe and the other kids recover from malnutrition.

“The children look better now,” she says. “They became healthy because of the nutritious food packs.” Virginia shared, “[Participants] are happy with the food packs because they can cook them in different ways for the whole family to share.”

Ms. Talaver, an ICM Health Trainer, has provided health lessons to many Transform communities served by ICM. In all of the communities, she said, “The main support ICM provides is the teaching of values, health and livelihood, and the Rise Against Hunger meals.” She added that the nutritious meals serve as the community’s daily food when there is a rice shortage.

Ms. Talaver has noticed Norafe’s growth, weight gain and the improvement in her health through the Transformation program. She added that since they started to distribute Rise Against Hunger meals, many malnourished children have become healthy, and Transform participants who could not afford three meals a day were able to eat nutritious meals.

Through the Transform program, participants are able to gain employment, food and become more knowledgeable about nutrition and local farming. The program creates opportunities for people in the community to work and provide for their families — and that’s the ultimate goal for Fe as a grandmother.

As a participant, Fe has worked with the program to ensure the needs of her family are met. She is very grateful for the Transform program and hopes to continue providing and supporting her family while creating a brighter future for generations to come. To help support families like Fe and her granddaughter, Norafe, please give now.