December 2013: Looking Back & Moving Forward

I have been in the Pacific Northwest of the United States for the past two months now. I have been gathering my old contacts and friends into a  board to create a non-profit with the goal to support and advocate for Do-It-Yourself volunteer projects at home & around the world.

First and foremost, of course, is the project in the Philippines –building a food forest for Amor Village, an orphanage for abused & handicap children in Anao, Tarlac. At this juncture, we have raised $2,363 of the $2500 estimate to maintain the project for over a year. If you’d like to help us continue this project, please donate here.

Thus far, the money that we have raised has hired JunJun, a rescued slave with background in organic agriculture, for the past six months, sent him to a permaculture school, bought & planted hundreds of fruit trees, started mushroom cultivation and bought the initial supplies to make a pond in the area. I have also secured donations from a large fish manufacturer in the Philippines, to fill the pond and supply necessary proteins to the children of the orphanage.

But that’s not all..

This Christmas, I am flying with two film makers from San Francisco to film some of the progress at the orphanage and make a promotional piece for the project. In exchange, I am going to help them tour the Philippines and put together a small travel show pilot. I am no a fan of being on camera, so this should be an interesting endeavor for me.

…and after that….

I will be hosting group of permaculture specialists that I met through my work with the Humboldt Garden Collective last year. They will be flying to the Philippines in February to help JunJun make a more ecological & forward thinking decisions for the  pond & grounds of the orphanage. This will give me the opportunity to solidify the logistics around bringing, integrating and hosting high-skilled international volunteers at the project. I’m excited for the challenge!

..and what about the typhoon?

The recent typhoon that hit the Philippines surely gave us all a scare. Thankfully, however, my family and the orphanage were not affected by the storm. JunJun’s family, however, lives in the South of the Philippines and their community is dealing with some of the damage. Thanks to the donors through this project, JunJun will be boarding a plane right before Christmas to visit his family again for the first time in two years! He has invited us down to meet his family and film where he comes from, but we are not sure if we have the time or funding to do this as well.

You will all be apprise of the developments, don’t worry.