Seeds of Hope

By Roxanne Angelika S Dela Cruz | Field and Emergency Communications Specialist

MISAMIS OCCIDENTAL — In a small village, a group of women gardens to make a living. But it’s not as easy as counting one, two, three.

Josephine, 44, together with her sister-in-law, Amor, 41, and their neighbors, Mylene and Detma, both 48, cross a river on foot every day to get to the rice field where their boxes of gardens are.

They grow different kinds of vegetables and sell them in the market every time they harvest. But with little to no capital to buy seeds, and the challenges brought by the rain, selling produce was not daily. Hence, income was unstable too. The four women rely on gardening for their children’s education and their family’s daily necessities.

Josephine says, “We cannot always provide for our children because we don’t have much produce. can’t always garden and harvest due to not having seeds.”

“But we still work hard to plant something in our garden,” Mylene shares, wishing that their garden will flourish.


But things changed when World Vision introduced the Food for Education with Agricultural Development and Sustainability (FORWARD) in their community. FORWARD teaches families to plant in their backyard to improve their source of food, and to promote health and nutrition.

Like other families in the village, the four mothers received vegetable seeds. “When we received the seeds from FORWARD, we were very happy. It helped us a lot. We were able to plant and harvest. We earned and used that money to buy seeds again,” Josephine shares.

“I am very grateful to World Vision and to our Almighty Father because they gave us seedlings like cabbage and eggplant. We are very happy because we have a capital now to buy seeds,” says Mylene.

Aside from the seeds, World Vision also provided training on growing vegetables. “I have unlocked a new life skill that I enjoy, and I can provide for my children from my income through planting,” shares first time gardener, Amor.

We reap what we sow

With increased income from their vegetable garden, these women are now reaping what they sow.
Josephine bought a sidecar for her husband’s motorcycle which is now their means of transporting her produce to the market. He also takes in passengers and makes extra income, too.

Mylene saved up from her gardening income and put up a convenience store at their house.

Apart from saving money, Detma saves her seeds from harvested vegetables and uses them for the next planting activity.

Mylene and Detma jokingly share that their children used to have Php5.00 or sometimes no school allowance. But now, they give their children Php10.00 or sometimes more.

Gardening is these women’s source of living, but gardening also helped them in ensuring their children’s health and nutrition. Their meals at school and at home are always served with vegetables.

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