Rachel C. Barawid
January 22, 2011
Head for thinking, heart for greater loyalty, hands for larger service, and health for better living…
MANILA, Philippines — In Barangay Pagaypay, Passi, Iloilo, a growing number of teenagers and young adults are all scrambling to be part of the coolest club in town.
Nope, it’s not a dance club, or an exclusive party club that the Passi youngsters can’t wait to get into. It’s a club that can teach them how to farm, raise swine and chicken, and process pineapple wine. It’s called the Pagaypay 4H Club.
“Sa club kasi namin, hindi lang kami natututo, kikita pa kami dahil sa mga livelihood activities namin. Dati walang ginagawa yung mga kabataan sa amin kundi mag party, manigarilyo, uminom, mag inom at maglakwatsa. Pero ngayon nakakatulong pa sila sa mga magulang nila,” shares Lanie S. Gaspar, public information officer of 4H Club and a former Sanggunian Kabataan chairman.
The community-based organization called Pagaypay 4H Club Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow was established to help alleviate the economic situation of the people in the barangay through livelihood activities such as pineapple wine processing, swine raising and chicken dispersal.
“4H means Head for thinking, Heart for greater loyalty, Hands for larger service, and Health for better living,” defines Lanie.
Something out of nothing
Five members who had undergone a fruit processing training conducted by the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) decided to innovate on their town’s most popular product, pineapple, by making it into a wine.
With a start-up capital of only P1,000, they were able to produce 25 bottles. Sold at P180 per bottle, the wine became a hit among locals and tourists. From there, their pineapple wine processing project expanded, allowing them to sell their product in agricultural fairs and exhibits.
For the swine raising project, five members are given P50,000 seed capital by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI). Each member will then use P10,000 to purchase piglets and breed them until they are ready to be sold. After 18 months, a member returns the loan to ATI for the use of other members.
A similar scheme is applied to the chicken dispersal project where new chicken are acquired by the organization after four to five months from the West Visayas State University Research Center.
“Sa swine, kung minsan nakakabenta kami ng dalawa kaagad kaya kumikita na kami ng P19,850. For our Darag native chicken, 60 percent napupunta sa West Visayas State University Research Center, 40 percent naman ang sa amin,” says Lanie, breaking down the estimated profit for eac project.
4H Club members also plant vegetables and support the various activities of their barangay.
But it’s not all work for members of the 4H Club. They also do extra-curricular activities that help develop the members’ personality and character.
“We regularly hold dance, singing, and talent contests in our barangay so the members develop their singing, dancing, hosting and acting skills. Pati self-confidence nila nade-develop at hindi na sila nagiging mahiyain sa harap ng ibang tao. Binibigyan pa namin sila ng mga medalya pag nananalo sa mga contests. We also send our members to trainings in Iloilo. Marami kasi gusto pumunta sa city pero hindi naman sila makapunta kaya gusto nila sumali sa amin kasi we offer these kinds of opportunities,” explains the 20-year-old Information Technology student of West Visayas State University in Pototan, Iloilo.
Lanie adds that they even hold a Search for the Best Parents as a way of paying tribute to the parents of the members.
Helping their town
The most important benefit of being a member of the club is that members are now able to help their parents in their day-to-day living expenses. Some even pay for their own tuition in school.
They are also able to promote agriculture to the youth while boosting their town’s economic opportunities through the use of its natural resources.
Through their efforts and its far-reaching results, the Pagaypay 4H Club received several awards including the 2006 Most Outstanding Young Farmer of the Province, the 2007 Gawad Saka National Award and Most Outstanding Young Farmers Organization of the Philippines. Recently, it was also chosen as one of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) of 2010.
Lanie says they are using the P50,000 prize money they received from TAYO to expand their pineapple wine processing project and in procuring equipment and materials for their laboratory.
Apart from exporting their wines in the future, the 4H Club also hopes to be able to help a greater number of youths become empowered, productive, and useful to their communities.
For those interested to join TAYO, text 09178988296 or visit www.tayoawards.net.
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