Improving School-Aged Kids’ Nutrition Through Innovative Organic Vegetable Gardening IGFI’s Gulayan Sa Paaralan Project

In pursuit of improving the health and nutrition of school children, ICCP Group Foundation, Inc.’s seven (7) partner-schools in Malvar, Batangas, namely: San Fernando Elementary School, Malvar Central School, Luta Norte and Luta Sur Elementary Schools, Bulihan Elementary School, San Pedro I and San Pedro II Elementary Schools, have implemented and completed the implementation of Gulayan sa Paaralan Project on February 2018 in partnership with the Canadian Embassy under the Canada Fund for Local Initiative (CFLI). The project was a 6-month initiative which started on September 2017.

Part of the project was the establishment of Greenhouse Facility in all school-beneficiaries as well as the conduct of training-workshop on organic vegetable gardening participated in by Grade 5 and 6 students with teachers, parents and some barangay workers. The workshops focused on teaching the participants how to grow vegetables using recycled PET bottles as planting pot, as well as how to produce organic fertilizer and pesticides.

The project generally aimed at reducing the malnutrition rate of partner-schools through increased availability of vegetable for students as well as heighten the awareness on environmental protection through productive use of recyclable wastes and materials.

As an immediate result, there was an increased availability of vegetable for the feeding activity of partner-schools of around 80%. With this, they no longer buy vegetables for the kids to eat but instead harvest them from their organic vegetable garden which are more nutritive than what is available in the market. Some are also being sold out and the revenue goes to the expansion of their organic vegetable garden.

Further, a total of 407 individuals capacitated (students, parents, teachers, LGU personnel) on organic vegetable gardening and the same number of persons have raised consciousness on environmental protection through productive use of recyclable wastes and materials in the implementation of the project.

With this project, the community through the initiative of children and other stakeholders has been empowered towards self-reliance and sufficiency in relation to health and environmental protection. It further paved the way for a collective action among community members for sustainable development using health and environment programs as driving force and integrated with other community development themes that could holistically achieve the vision, mission and goal(s) of the community.