Philippines

Seven years on, CFSI is still making a difference for mountain community

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By CFSI Director for Philippine Programme
Vladimir Hernandez

South Upi is a mountainous region in Central Mindanao in the Philippines that is home to a tribal group called Tedurays, who are rice and corn farmers. CFSI works with the Tedurays to increase their income by providing them with post-harvest facilities.

I went back to visit the community to talk with residents about the corn-shellers we had provided for farmers about a year ago. I had forgotten that seven years ago we were also in that same community helping mothers put up a small daycare center for little children.

As I was about to leave, an old woman approached me and introduced herself as Dayna Mindo from sitio Saramuray – a two-hour hike from where we were. Imagine, a two-hour hike in the mountains for an old woman, just to see us and participate in the community meeting.

However, what surprised me the most was that this old Teduray woman, Dayna, thanked me not for the corn-sheller, but for the small play center we constructed in their community seven long years ago. Dayna turned out to be the teacher we trained seven years ago, and she happily reported that many children who went to her play center up in the mountain had continued on to elementary school.

I stared at her eyes and listened to her story. She was excited to report how a small project seven years ago had made a difference, and continues to make a difference, in her life and in the lives of the children in her mountain community.

CFSI truly does make a difference in people’s lives.