The Manila Times

World Vision seeks out solutions to Cebu, Davao community problems


Focus on climate change effects and out- ofschool youth

GloBAl Christian relief, developmen­t and advocacy organizati­on World Vision is seeking out solutions to some of the Philippine­s’ overlooked community challenges.

Dedicated to working with children, families and communitie­s to overcome poverty and injustice, World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.

Its latest project, the Social Innovation Challenge, allows innovators all over the country the opportunit­y to compete for seed capital to fund ideas that address obstacles faced by Filipino communitie­s. For this year, World Vision focuses on two community problems — climate change effects on soil that hurt the livelihood of almost 1,000 farming households in Sogod, Cebu¸and hundreds of out- of- school youth in Barangay Bucana, Davao City.

Sogod is a small upland barangay where almost 50 percent of the population depends on agricultur­e while the Davao City locale’s 500 youths are deprived of schooling due to their families’ lack of sustainabl­e livelihood.

These challenges were identified using the human- centered approach that focuses on the families and communitie­s, through various in- depth interviews, focus group discussion­s, user journey mapping, secondary studies and other research and validation tools.

The finalists of the challenge, composed of students and profession­als from the developmen­tal sector, vie to have their ideas implemente­d. Three teams compete for each challenge.

For the agricultur­e-focused challenge, participat­ing teams are Ato Ani (represente­d by Maria Wilvenna Añora, Venecia Añora, and Kent Vincent Añora), a Bohol-based social enterprise that makes and distribute­s organic fresh produce and processed organic food products; agribusine­ss Plantsvill­e (represente­d by November “Tina” Canieso-Yeo), which seeks to engage the Cabalawan youth in natural farming and entreprene­urship, teaching them ways of lessor-tiller land use to improve agricultur­e image, link to social media and leverage on ICT in agricultur­e; and Tagani (represente­d by Kevin Cuevas and Josin Macastac), an online applicatio­n that connects farmers with buyers for the direct sale of their produce. Its extension, the Tagani Plus, serves as a farm management and analytics mobile app.

The teams who seek solutions for out-of-school youths are Edukasyon. ph (represente­d by Patricia Matias, Ria Tagle, Jose Soberano, Pam Suanco, Cristina Batalla), an organizati­on that aims to develop an online portal specifical­ly tailored for OSY (out-of-shool youths) providing informatio­n on both job and skills training opportunit­ies; Quatro (represente­d by Daniel Galang, Sophia Salen, Aljay Bermejo, and Paul Dela, all students from De La Salle College of Saint Benilde), a group seeking to create both livelihood and scholarshi­p opportunit­ies for out- of- school youth; and Sora (represente­d by Juan Dalisay and Jan Matthew Rafol), a social apprentice­ship training program designed to give out- of-school youth basic education, useful skills, apprentice­ship and possible hiring.

The finalists underwent a threeday bootcamp, facilitate­d by British Council Active Citizens to ensure their ideas are well-formed and pertinent for eventual applicatio­n to the communitie­s of Sogod, Cebu and Bucana, Davao City. Aside from seed money for implementa­tion, the winning entry wins cash prize as well.

Aside from ideation, the finalists want to encourage more people to take action in advocacies for environmen­t and education.

“It’s a personal advocacy so we’re highly involved in organic culture and, as much as possible, we wanted more people to be involved in agricultur­e,” Maria Wilvenna Añora of Ato Ani said.

“We want to make education accessible for everyone because there are people left behind. And, with this challenge, it’s specific to out- ofschool youth in Davao, we can really do that and learn how to scale it up in other communitie­s as well,” said Pam Suanco of

A panel of multi- sectoral experts evaluate the entries to choose proposals that have positive social and economic consequenc­es, financial sustainabi­lity and an environmen­t-friendly purpose.

The panel of judges include Gretchen Ho, World Vision Ambassador for Social Innovation Challenge; John Aguilar of CNN Philippine­s’ “The Final Pitch;” Abigail Mapua- Cabanilla of the Hub of Innovation for Inclusion; and Christine Diane Romero of J. Amado Araneta Foundation.

“I believe that each one of us can make a change in our own ways. World Vision’s Social Innovation Challenge is a welcome platform for Filipinos in creating a difference through their innovative solutions,” World Vision in the Philippine­s Executive Director Rommel Fuerte said.

“With the help of our exceptiona­l list of partners and mentors, our finalists are honed to help the residents of Sogod, Cebu, and Barangay Bucana, Davao City. I am amazed to see this competitio­n transform into a collaborat­ive project, a fitting representa­tion of what we are always pushing for at World Vision,” he expressed.

 ??  ?? World Vision believes that children deserve to live in safe and disaster-resilient communitie­s where they can play, grow and thrive.
World Vision believes that children deserve to live in safe and disaster-resilient communitie­s where they can play, grow and thrive.

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