Because the first half of my mission for Virlanie Foundation, Inc. in Bacolod, Negros is almost over, I’ll dedicate today’s post to one of my two fascinating projects here: Our organic farm for young adults with special needs, called FAITH.
What is FAITH?
It’s Virlanie’s first organic farm community for 30 young adults with mental disabilities. They will be given adequate residential facilities, social, health and education services to reach their full potential.
FAITH is an inclusive community project that will also reach out to the wider surrounding community and make all non-residential offers available to other external beneficiaires.
As a social enterprise, the FAITH farm will ensure the project’s sustainability and financial stability in the long term. The farm’s agricultural products shall be promoted through an on-site café-shop, which will also showcase and sell other products made by FAITH beneficiaries.
What progress have we made since my arrival in August 2017?
Since my arrival, we regularly visited agricultural lots available for sale in and around Bacolod to secure this project in the long-run. Following our Executive Director’s advice, I even travelled to Quezon to visit three farm lots in early November. And finally in December, we found the part of land that our project team had been dreaming of for three years : 2 hectares of agriculturally well developed land located in a subdivision in the City of Bago, about a one-hour drive from Bacolod City where our Virlanie offices are located.
In the coming months, we will get site development plans to start the construction phase. We will also develop agricultural beds, which will become a source of income for the farm, besides the already exisiting mango plantation.
What is my job in the farm project?
As the Fundraising & Communication Officer, I focus on the funding part of the project, amongst other project-related tasks in support of our project manager Adelle Lemay. My main task is to prepare communication supports and proposals to request funds from corporate and individual donors, other foundations and potentially public institutions. My immediate goal is to raise sufficient money to maintain the existing 112 mango trees, develop organic beds with a multitude of endemic and other vegetables and fruits; and launch our construction phase this year.
Does this project interest you?
There are many ways how you can support FAITH
Donate online – in France and the Philippines, your donation to Virlanie will be eligible for tax reduction:
- For donations in France, you can use our secured platform and mention “FAITH” in your notes: www.helloasso.com/don/associations/virlanie-france
- For donations in the Philippines, check our website and don’t forget to mention “FAITH”: www.virlanie.org/get-involved/donate.
Volunteer – Help us clear our land, develop agricultural beds, support the constructions, write a business plan for our future social enterprise or other parts of our set-up.
Donate in-kind – these are only some of the things that we will require soon:
- For the construction of 4 homes, 1 admin building, 1 training center and 1 café-shop: Construction materials
- For our organic agricultural operations: Farm equipment like hand tractor, seeds, organic fertilizers
- To accomodate volunteers and workers: Nipa huts or other structures
- To facilitate the project team’s logistics: A van
If you have any questions, comments or ideas, I am happy for any feedback through the contact form here.