A kiwi idea feeds the poor in the Philippines
A kiwi idea feeds the poor in the
Philippines George Jones
Nine years ago, Lucia Banac attended a conference in Rotorua and returned home determined to manifest an idea she had come across in a primary school in the town. This was to provide food to the poorest members of the community. She understood that a child cannot learn on an empty stomach.
Every Saturday and some Sundays she arranges to feed more than thirty children, limited by her personal and family resources. Mrs Banac would like to expand the project considerably and needs help to do so.
She runs a Christian school in a village in the island of Mindanao in southern Philippines. The tangata whenua of the area are poverty stricken, some completely outside the nation's economic community.
There are a wide variety of ethnic tribes speaking many different languages, with one thing in common, utter poverty. Their traditional food gathering areas have been taken over by economic interests to produce food for the nation's nearly one hundred million people.
Last Sunday fifty six children from one to ten years patiently waited for Mrs Banac and her helpers to hand out plates of Philippino food and drinks in a special building dedicated to the task.
She also provides Christian and moral instruction to the children.
Mrs Banac would like donations so that she can feed more children more often. “I would like to provide a special meal before Christmas, but I need to be able to continue into the future as well.” she says.
She has built up her school in Makilala over sixteen years to over three hundred students from preschool to secondary. It has a strong Christian bias. She gets some assistance from the government but only for secondary students, about P5000 ($NZ140) per year per student, a fraction of the cost of teaching salaries and running costs.
Her philosophies are in line with the international group Child Evangelism Fellowship, whose Rotorua conference she attended in 2004.
Donations can be made to Westpac account number 03-1535-0092882-01 “Rock Valley Feeding” with a contact through firstname.lastname@example.org . All donations will be spent on children's food.