By Charina Garrido-Ocampo
Monsanto Fund and Philippine NGO Gawad Kalinga (GK) recently launched a joint project to build and repair houses for farmers who were affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
Eighty-four Monsanto employees and distributors flew to Sara, Iloilo to participate in the launch and help in the preliminary efforts to build houses. Almost 600 local residents attended this activity including local government officials, members of the local media, and teachers and students of local high schools. Monsanto Fund’s partnership with GK aims to help more than 220 farmers, especially corn farmers.
“We are very happy to have been given the opportunity to extend assistance to the farmers affected by Typhoon Haiyan,” said Monsanto Philippines Country Lead Sandro Rissi. “We are truly inspired by their resilience despite the odds and how they managed to help others in need as well.”
GK’s Executive Director Luis Oquinena said the number of people who need help in rebuilding their houses can be overwhelming but “with partners, we will get there.” Oquinena also shared that GK’s work is anchored on the strong relationship that they have with their beneficiaries.
“We do not just build houses for them. We exert all possible effort to get to know them well so that we are also able to help them with other needs that will significantly improve their lives such as a sustainable source of livelihood.”
Monsanto and Monsanto Fund have been partnering with the Philippines and its corn farmers for over 45 years now through its agriculture products, services and partnerships.