Monday, February 8, 2010

"Giving OR Teaching" or "Giving AND Teaching"?

I have heard this quote numerous times...

"Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish, feed him for a lifetime."

And so the point is made. It is better to teach a man how to fish than to give him a fish. Because in doing so, you help him for life, rather than just for a day. However, I wasn't quite sure if that was the right way to interpret the proverb, at least not in reality.

So let's see... A man, who doesn't know "how to fish", comes to me asking for help because he's hungry. What should I do? Should I just give this man some fish to eat or should I teach him? Aha! I want to be able to equip him for life so that this man can help himself. I'll teach him how to fish! So instead of giving him some fish, I ask him to come with me as I grab my fishing equipment. We go to the nearby pond, and I demonstrate to him how to fish. He tries to imitate what I just showed him, but he can't just do it right because he's not used to it. At least not yet, because he's still a newbie. Anyway, he quickly gets exhausted, and I ask him why. He looks at me and answers "I'm really really hungry." I felt like giving him some fish, which I had several of back home, but I quickly shun the thought and replied, "Don't worry. This is better. Once you learn how to fish, you will be able to get all the fish that you need and want." So I quickly demonstrate to him again how to do it right. So he tries to imitate me once again, but this time he quickly tires and cannot concentrate. His performance is far worse than when he started. His hands are shaking. His body is drenched in cold sweat. His state of desperation is clearly obvious.

And then it struck me. Oh how brutal of me! How insensitive of me! I thought that I was exercising wisdom, but I was so far from it. I quickly went back home, and got several pieces of fish, and gave it to the man. I also apologized to him. He was clearly surprised at my "apologizing" and grateful for the fish that I gave to him. I sat by the edge of the pond to ponder on what had just happened. The proverb wasn't wrong. It was my interpretation. It never mentioned that I should choose only one of the options, whether to give or to teach.

As I was busy pondering on these thoughts, I didn't notice that he had finished eating already. And before I knew it, he was already busy picking up and preparing the fishing equipment. He called on my name, and said out loud with a big smile on his face, "I think I'm now ready for Lesson #2... Can I try again?"

Wow. I was about to realize that it's so much easier to "teach" after you have given.

So perhaps I would like to rephrase the famous Chinese proverb's words to...

"Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day. And teach him how to fish, so he can be fed for a lifetime."


Friday, February 5, 2010

Feeding 1,186,000 children everyday and counting!!!

I am amazed by the impact of this organization. I don't even know what to say. You would just have to visit their website for yourself to see. They feed over 1.1 Million kids EVERY DAY! And they even motivate the children to go to school. Not to even mention the impact they have on the economy in the area as they employ local people to cook and deliver the food. Amazing! This is truly an inspiration.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Feeding children at Lahing Lahing...

We re-launched the Feeding program for the children of Lahing-lahing, Mabolo, Cebu City last August 22, 2009. Lord willing, we will be doing it every Saturday.

We start out by singing some songs. Favorites include "The Love of Jesus is sweet and marvelous" and "Milk". Then if the kids are in the mood, and most of the time they are, we play some games. Then we go on with story-telling time. We share to them some stories from the Bible to remind them that God loves them. And then finally we eat!

These are some of the pictures that we took. Enjoy!

Eating time... :D (This is the picture taken from the last feeding program, c/o HCSI) We were so busy that day that no one was able to take a picture of the eating time. :(

Eating time again... (Still an outdated picture...)

These are some of the kids that are fed. They are so cute, aren't they?

Some of my schoolmates from CIE came over to help with the feeding. They also sponsored the food. Thank you so much to them! (This is the updated pic. :D)

We were also playing some games... :D

This is singing time! That's my sister in the white shirt! :D

In behalf of the kids of Lahing-lahing, we would like to thank God for His provision and goodness. We would also like to thank for the VitaMeal sponsored by Union Galvasteel, led by Ms. Aiza and Mr. Arnel. I would also like to thank David Jereos of the Create Abundance 2020, and also Kuya Jun and company.

We spend about Php1,000.00 every saturday to feed about 50+ children. We use this money to buy and prepare the food that is mixed with Vitameal, in order to help combat malnutrition. If you would like to make a contribution, you can email me.

Thank you!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What do we need to get the Food Network Project going?

The Food Network System has one goal - to make sure that EVERYONE gets good food.

How do we do that?

1. "Guaranteed Fresh Food!" Certification - We make sure that restaurants never "recycle" their unsold food products. We will have collectors at the end of every day to collect all the unsold food from each participating restaurant.

Collectors have to make sure that they have collected ALL unsold food from the restaurant. They have to check possible areas of storage for unsold food that isn't surrendered. Participating restaurants will receive a special certification indicating that they serve "Guaranteed Fresh Food!".

2. "Sanitation Guaranteed!" Level Certification - We can easily test for the sanitation level of a restaurant by checking the unsold food for bacteria, spoilage, rotting, etc. If their unsold food by the end of the day is dirty, then so is their restaurant. However, if the unsold food is germ-free, then one can easily conclude that the same is true with their restaurant. After all, the restaurant would normally care so little for the handling of unsold food products, and if even those are clean, then how much more those that are sold before the day was even over.

Participating restaurants are given a certification for their level of sanitation. This would encourage restaurants to aim for the highest level of sanitation, as a higher level of certification would definitely boost their PR.

3. "Food for the Hungry" - Now, what do we do with all the unsold food that we have collected? These food products are still edible and, most likely, clean (thank you to the sanitary practices motivated by the "Sanitation Guaranteed Certification"). What do we do with the clean and edible food? Well, of course, we give it away to the hungry, and yet cannot afford to buy. These are EXTRA food. So let's feed some hungry people.

Feeding poor and hungry people, could help them get their mind off the next meal. This could help them focus more on studying (for students), looking for a job (for the unemployed), and even making a business plan (for the entrepreneur at heart). The bottom line is, people who are not hungry are less inclined to steal, kill, or get angry. People who are hungry have more difficulty concentrating, working, and getting things done. So, let's feed some hungry people, and let's make our world a better place.

So by the end of the day, we made sure that restaurant eaters always get good food. Thanks to the "Guaranteed Fresh Food" and "Sanitation Guaranteed" Certifications. And we also made sure that poor and hungry people get to eat good food too. Thanks to the "Food for the Hungry" set-up.

So by the end of the day, the Food Network has made sure that EVERYONE gets good food.

This is what we need to get this project going.

Thank you and Enjoy!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Midtown Cebu Photo Ops

I went around Midtown Cebu, and took some quick pictures of people that I think need some assistance with food and nutrition. I'm not a very good photographer so please pardon me if the shots are not of superior quality. The point is to show that there are people out there - actually they live amongst us and we encounter them often - that are in need of help.

An old woman outside Mango Square mall...

A scavenger along Osmena Avenue...

Another scavenger along Osmena Avenue...

A teenager beside Julie's Bakeshop Fuente Osmena...

Another teenager outside Coco Mall...

These people most likely suffer hunger significantly more oftem than most people. They need the assistance of others in providing for their food and nutrition needs. Most of us are capable of helping, especially if you are reading this through your own computer. Most of us would wonder, "How can I help?", "I want to help, but I don't know how." Not only should we be willing to help, but we should know how to help. However, being willing to help is the first step. As it has been said, "If there's a will, there's a way." So the question is for you...

"Are you willing to help?"