The Mindanao Youth for Development (MYDEV) learners of Barangay Culianan, Zamboanga City who are taking up a horticulture course under the supervision of MYDev-ZABIDA Technical Skills Coordinator Joshua B. Pierra, held their vegetable garden field day last Friday, September 19 with guests gracing the occasion, which was also hosted by the Dominican Sisters’ Farm located in the same community.
According to MYDev Program Coordinator Jobel Henesy Foliente, the activity served as the venue to introduce the trainees to MYDEV partner stakeholders. Through the assembly, the partnerships between the learners collaborating organizations and agencies are also strengthened, to include the City Agriculture Office, Barangay LGUs, and the Dominican Sisters. On the other hand, the partners saw for themselves how the learners are progressing in their endeavors, particularly in appreciating the value of agriculture.
The barangay council of Culianan in its support for the training project urged them “to take advantage of the opportunity that was given to them. “Hopefully, este ehemplo ay keda man as encouragement na di atun mga Out of School Youths,” they said.
City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat vowed his office’s assistance to continue in teaching and updating the MYDev learners of the organic technology or natural farming. “Start cultivating our land, the gold is there,” Palacat said, and pointed it as a good example to teach responsibilities to the youths and the importance of money.
MYDev-LGU coordinator, Mr. Rodolph Saavedra shared a brief overview of the MYDev program. He also quipped that, on the entire 6 sights in Mindanao where MYDev program is implemented, Zamboanga City is one of the most notable.
Fr. Angel C. Calvo, CMF, president of the lead implementor Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance, Inc. (ZABIDA) in his inspiring message said that this activity is a clear example of a dream. The partnership between the stakeholders is the important element in helping achieve the dreams of the youths. “To address the real means of the project, of building a better Zamboanga, by putting together the resources available and thus able to produce and bloom something, especially the youths,” Fr. Calvo added.
MYDev learners also shared their inspiring stories on being a part of the program. “You give us encouragement for us to continue with our dreams,” MYDev learner Ruth Bernardo told the guests. Sharing how some of them ended as out of school youths although majority of them would like to go to school but lack financial resources.
“We are blessed and thank you all for the opportunity that you have given us,” added MYDev learner Suzette Santos.
MYDev learner Alvino Galvez also shared his doubt when he was introduced to take the horticulture course, believing that in this age most people not like to grow callouses by plowing and tilting lands and planting fruits and vegetables. “It’s not my line you know. I love decorating beautiful things and some churvas,” he said amusingly. “As time goes by, I have been enjoying the trainings and learnings, ya perde el dimio doubt-especially when you see the vegetables grow,” he quipped.
The learners showcased their fruits and vegetable harvests grown using organic farming technology with the help of their trainers Antonio Magsino and Merida P. Garcia of the CAO. The youths were also guided by the nuns of the Dominican Sisters, wherein MYDev-Zabida partnered with them to utilize their farm as venue for the learners’ 110-days course that started on July.