This Christmas, some special gifts you can consider for yourself are Negros-made products that not only fill your need for retail therapy, but also fill your need to make a difference in other people’s lives. This may sound like the “same old, same old” spiel for the season, but, hey, guys, if we need to celebrate the coming of our Saviour, let’s celebrate it truly, unselfishly, magnanimously and generously. Now, let me tell you how.
The mission of Negrense Volunteers for Change, a non-stock, non-profit organization established in August of 2010 is “Nutrition, Education, Livelihood”. This group of private citizens believes “that by pooling the energies, resources, talents, and skills of individuals, we can bring about a better future for Filipinos.” So, how do we contribute to assuring a better future for Filipinos?
In the area of nutrition, Mingo meals are distributed to undernourished infants, toddlers and young children as complementary food for 6-30 months in communities that do not have access to nutritious food. A Mingo meal is instant food powder that one mixes with water to make a porridge. And not just any porridge. Three powerful ingredients – malunggay, rice and monggo – provide protein, carbohydrates, vitamins A, C, B1, B6, potassium, iron, calcium and zinc. Better nutrition means higher intelligence scores BUT studies show that this benefit applies when good food is given to children starting below 3 years old. We really want to raise a nation of bright kids and adults, but, of course.
Through NVC’s Christmas items, tiny stomachs are filled and young bodies are given better chances in life. Last year, there were Christmas cards feature drawings made by children from a remote mountain village in Bukidnon, Mindanao. It might break your heart to know that these children do not often celebrate Christmas because there is no food on the table. Mingo meals will provide these children with tasty and nutrition supplements. Please go to www.nvcfoundation-ph.org to know more about NVC’s Mingo Meals.
NVC Foundation also has the School Support Project that provides classrooms and learning tools to public schools in partnership with various foundations and groups. NVC also solicits used books for distribution to these public schools.
And for livelihood, NVC partners with artists and trains artisans to create gorgeous world-class products so that these artisans may be able to help out with the family incomes. Poor families are helped, at the same time, funds are raised for the nutrition program. Skillful hands produce really beautiful crocheted pieces, ceramic tile mosaic products (trays, tables, screens, framed art), and eggshell mosaic products (religious and nativity sets). These are delicately made, and painstakingly created requiring a steady, dexterous, experienced hand before they reach one’s homes.
There is still time to both shop for Christmas and make a difference. By doing so, you make many people happy – a growing kid, continuous livelihood for craftsmen, friends and relations who receive your gifts, and yourself.