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Rise of Volunteerism: Community of Sitio San Roque

Rise of Volunteerism: Community of Sitio San Roque

The Tanimang Bayan (community food garden) is a woman-led community project in Sitio San Roque, Quezon City. Women, especially mothers, cooperated to give services in the community.

The community’s participation gradually became the way towards agroecological farming and defense for land rights.

Rise of Volunteerism: Community of Sitio San Roque

The community kitchen

The national government promised to provide financial support during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). However, the poor urban of Sitio San Roque suffered from the government’s incompetence.

Due to strict regulations and lack of government support, the community gets off the ground to look for ways and have meals. They began the Kusinang Bayan (community kitchen).

“A community kitchen program, Kusinang Bayan is a healthy alternative to conventional relief operations that consist of relief packs with canned goods and noodles. The model is a sustainable and cost-effective form of aid that also supports small businesses and local food producers, empowers the residents and community leaders, and promotes Bayanihan among the residents of the Sitio,” 

Save San Roque Alliance

The numbers of volunteers increased after a year. While, their kitchen grew from three to 25. Then, serving 3,000 to 4,000 families every day.

The emergence of the community food garden

The Kusinang Bayan relies on in-kind donations for finance, but as the pandemic continues, they run out of resources. Since then, the community formed the Tanimang Bayan to address the issue of getting resources.

“Ito ‘yung kukuhaan sana namin ng sustento para sa aming Kusinang Bayan.” [“The Community Food Garden will hopefully allow us to sustain the Community Kitchen.”]Gelyn Rosilio, a community leader in Sitio San Roque

Residents with agricultural experience and technical knowledge led the community in managing the plots for their planting plans.

Defending land rights

Surestre Properties Inc. (SPI) decided that Area J in the community will be a demolition priority. But, even with a demolition postponement, developers continued destruction activities.

Residents in Area J were constantly threatened by the ongoing construction of Solaire North, SPI’s 40-story Resort and Casino tower project.

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Agroecological urban farming 

Agroecology promotes sustainable farming supporting farmers in local and global levels. 

Sama-samang Artista para sa Kilusang Agraryo (SAKA) organized educational trainings for the residents. They provided modules on farm planning, making of organic fertiz, and agroecological farming processes.

Since September 2021, they have grown staple vegetables like eggplant, papaya, tomato, pechay (snow cabbage), chili, etc.

Residents of the community distributed the crops. More than 300 households, or 1,500 people received fresh and organic produce.

There are a lot of ways to help starting in your local community. Do your research and let’s all make a difference!

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