Sunday, August 15, 2010

CERV spearheads successful humanitarian fundraising project

CERV-Philippines launched a successful relief project to help an Indigenous People’s community in Central Luzon, Philippines.  How it started can be read here.

 The response was quick and positive.  CERV decided to increase its target to three sacks of grain and at least two water pumps.

Canadian law student and National Union of People’s Lawyers volunteer Emily Misola Richards was first to pitch in.

Former CERV volunteer and Meaningful Volunteer founder Malcolm Trevena proposed a CERV-MV hook-up on this project.  CERV readily agreed, making it the first joint humanitarian fundraising project ever.  MV took care of two-thirds of the amount needed initially.

 GVN Foundation kindly agreed to make an emergency release of the funds it keeps for CERV health and children’s welfare projects to help in the project.

 Former CERV volunteers Richard Kastenschmidt and Andrew Roquiz of the USA and Leighton Wood (Canada) came through with cash donations.

 The project then had more money than it initially needed.

 CERV then asked Wilfredo Marbella, deputy secretary general of the Peasant Movement of the Philippines, to look for the right kind of rice grains.  He delivered three sacks within three days.

 All that was needed at that point was to turn over the grains and the funds for the water pumps.  But, as mentioned in the first article, the area is militarized.  CERV waited for two weeks before it was able to make the delivery.  It needed the help of the KAMP, the Philippines’ biggest federation of Indigenous Peoples, who said that we should just surprise the military and arrive without announcing ourselves.

Following are some pictures of the actual handover.   Within three days of the handover, the first pump was already offering clean and potable water to the community.  (While CERV intends to go back to take pictures of the water pumps at work and the grains being planted, this has to be scrapped for now due to security reasons.)  The community is happy with the three sacks of grain as they were only expecting one.  They now await the next planting season even as they start clearing their traditional planting areas on mountainsides.

CERV director Raymund Villanueva also stumbled on a story while there.  Watch this video.

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