A young volunteer once asked me why our Executive Director chooses to work in highlands and far-flung barangays where roads are rough, facilities are scarce and daily living is a struggle to access the bare necessities of life. I don’t exactly remember what my answer to his question was. I think it was something close to “Perhaps he truly cares for the people”. And then, there was silence between us, as if words are not necessary to explain what we understand in the heart.
For over 20 years now the Propegemus Foundation Inc. has been committed to its Vision and Mission of creating empowered communities with sustainable access and control of their natural resources in a healthy and secure environment. To this day, we have remained steadfast to the commitment. Were all those years good? There were good and not so good years, but we kept going, because we have a reason for being. And that reason is “Propegemus” – WE PROTECT.
Protection of the Environment, our core program: Watershed Management, Agro-forestry Development, Natural Farming Technology Transfer, Wildlife Protection, etc. all seem like a perfect picture drawn from a book or a TV screen. But in reality, it isn’t so.
The Global warming phenomenon which has brought about remarkable climatic changes in all parts of the world may seem a million miles away from where we are now; but our volunteers in development working in remote areas where environmental destruction is happening, know the sad stories of the people and the obstacles in realizing our objectives due to these climatic changes, the glaring effect of the destruction to our natural environment. Here are a few of the stories we hear:
“We feel joy in knowing that we have imparted skills to our partners; though we feel real fear when we traverse rough hilly roads during flashfloods on heavy rains.” (a trainer)
“I am fulfilled with the knowledge that I am helping in the process of empowering people; but I mourn the loss of lives and crops from the landslides and erosions”. (a community organizer)
“I delight when production increases; but I denounce the negligence in the continuing destruction of forests and the irresponsible extraction of our natural resources.” (an agricultural technician)
And so goes the stories of good days …and bad days… Yet we persist in doing what we do. Yes! We do find the reason for being and that is – WE PROTECT because we care for lives and properties, the environment and the future of our children. We are the “Propegemus”.
MA. VILMA C. NADALA, Training Director
*above sketch - credit to the owner