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Food for the Hungry :: Philippines

 

It’s been a while.

My absence is not due from the lack of work but quite the opposite. Since my move to Colorado Springs, I was offered a position as a producer for a UK based film production company (gahh!), Prospect Arts.

Calm down, I will not be wisped away to glorious London (yet:)). Colorado Springs will still be called home as Prospect opened a branch here in the states.

Since my focus has now shifted from photography to videography and producing, the amount of future photo projects will be limited. No need to cry; My adventures will still continue as I’ll be traveling once a month (or more) producing videos for Prospect Arts. Join me on Instagram and follow Prospect Arts for updates.

Thankfully, my recent trip with Prospect Arts allowed me to tackle photography as well as video. I call that multi-tasking at it’s finest (insert emoticon of girl doing hair flip).

“Which community is the most vulnerable, most troubled, hardest to get to and with no NGOs? We’ll take that one.”

This is the heartbeat behind Food for the Hungry. Don’t let the name fool you. It’s more than food for the hungry. They bring community transformation by custom designing plans with local leaders to bring the greatest change. “If we don’t have an exit strategy, we’re not doing our job.” – Milam, staff member.

Food for the Hungry celebrates community graduations as it aims to instill stewardship and empowerment. With 94% of their 2,500 staff being local, Food for the Hungry is dedicated to enable those on the ground to problem solve the most difficult issues in the hardest to reach places.

Human trafficking, poverty, malnutrition, natural disasters…these issues receive more and more awareness.

But last month, I encountered an issue that continues to remain hidden.

Sexual incest, pedophilia and rape is a taboo topic not only in the Philippines but across every race and nation.

Boys and girls are being violated in places they once thought safe – schools, playgrounds, homes and transportation. My gut filled with pain from stories of parents allowing their daughters to be touched for ‘easy’ money, rich neighbors paying a child’s school fees in exchange for an unspoken cost, and young boys’ sexual abuse overlooked due to gender discrimination.

Food for the Hungry works with Break the Silence to equip children, parents, educators and community leaders to bring healing and training on how to combat this dark issue. Break the Silence promo video will be released soon here.

Our time included visiting a cemetery. With bags of skulls and bones scattered on the ground, a community of 3,000 live in and around the tombs. Their homes barely stand with the materials made out of the trash they’re standing on.

Being right next to the coast, this community has little to no support when a natural disaster strikes – which happens often in the Philippines. Food for the Hungry is bringing community transformation by helping relocate this community to a safe and healthy environment.

Starting next month, I’ll be traveling with Food for the Hungry to Northern Ethiopia, Kenya, Bolivia and Bangladesh to bring awareness to what this incredible mission is accomplishing.

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