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By Maryann Zamora, Communications Specialist
Parents, Jerrylyn, 35, and Randy, 41, are certain that they can now feed their five children three times a day. The family has now a stable source of income. Thanks to seaweed farming.
The family used to live in a day to day basis only. They were uncertain on what food to prepare for the next meal as father Randy had no stable income being a seasonal fisherman. “Every time we do not have good catch, which happens often especially during the rainy season, we tend to borrow money or food from our neighbor just to have food to eat during meal time,” says Randy.
“Before we entered seaweed farming, we eat twice a day only. What we eat during breakfast is what we eat during supper,” recalls Randy.
Jerrylyn and Randy have five children, the eldest is 16 years old who is in high school and the youngest are twins aged 5. All five children are in school. When one of the twin brothers was asked what they usually eat, he said, “Rice and fish paste or dried fish.”
Randy, the father of five rejoices in the fact that he is able to feed his family through the livelihood of seaweed farming.
“As parents, it is so painful to see our children going hungry and longing to have good food on the table. There were even times that they went to school hungry and times that we sleep hungry,” recalls Randy.
Both parents couldn’t stand to see their children suffering, so they looked for ways to solve the hunger pangs that the family was experiencing. “When we heard about seaweed project of World Vision, we didn’t hesitate to join, thinking that it can be the solution to our family’s daily needs,” says Randy.
World Vision through the help of its local partner, tapped the local government to give agricultural training on seaweed farming. They trained interested beneficiaries who are living in the coastal areas on how to grow and how to gain income out from seaweed farming.
“After, the training, World Vision provided us with seaweed seedlings and proper tools to start,” adds Randy. They started the production early this year and they have been getting good harvest as of this writing.
The twin brothers would always go with their parents in the shore to help harvest the seaweed and at the same time play at the coastline. “We help our parents harvest seaweeds and bring it at our house and eat it for a meal,” shares Randel.
Through the seaweed farming project assisted by World Vision, families need not worry about nothing to eat on their tables, as they now have a source of income to buy food. The family’s basic needs such as food and educational needs for children are slowly being met and sustained.
Most of the seaweed collected are dried under the heat of the sun to be sold. “Aside from giving us good meal, we sell the seaweed, when dried, it can be used for medicine, fertilizer, toothpaste, cosmetic products and even paint,” enumerates Randy.
Seaweed farming in the coastal community has been beneficial to the families such as theirs building a good camaraderie among the neighborhood. Randy’s family had already shared the harvest with their neighbor by providing seaweed seedlings to them. “We have been helping each other like techniques how to grow the seaweeds and we share our harvest by providing seedlings to one neighbor and our neighbor has also shared his harvest to other interested families in the community,” Randy adds.
With the success of the seaweed farming in this community, all the families especially the parents look forward that after a year their community will become known as seaweed supplier and there will be no children that will go to school and sleep at night with an empty stomach.
Seaweed farming is just one of the ways World Vision is helping communities, families and children throughout the Philippines be able to stand on their own feet and provide basic needs for their family including food. Supporting World Vision ensures that children gain access to education, proper nutrition, healthcare and livelihood programs for families such as Randy's.
Child sponsorship is a valuable way to create lasting change not only in the lives of the children, but in their families and communities as well. To know more about how you can sponsor a child, click here.
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