Project: Sustainability in the Center of Hope

Caring for Our Survivors and Helping Them Take Care of Themselves

With the global pandemic taking its toll on both food security at the center and on the livelihoods of their survivors' families, the Center of Hope has taken initiatives to address both through sustainable solutions.

Project: Sustainability in the Center of Hope is meant to minimize shelter expenses and reduce its carbon footprint while teaching the survivors both manual, social, and technical skills that will benefit them upon reintegration.
 

The Healing Garden

Adjacent to the Center of Hope lot, the healing garden was created to compliment the center-based healing program while making the necessary adjustments toward sustainability. In 2019, the garden received several enhancements —a vegetable garden, a livelihood center, and a water catchment system with a fish pond. The center is source a fair amount of produce from the vegetable garden and fish pond, while the catchment system regulates the facilities' water consumption.

To push further toward its goals, VF has introduced gardening and small-scale organic farming of fresh produce such as root crops and vegetables, to the Center of Hope to help it become more sustainable and self sufficient —a crucial measure since food security at the shelter is threatened by the COVID-19 lock downs.

An aquaponics system has also been installed in the Center of Hope's healing garden as a way to plant, grow, and harvest vegetables while a greenhouse is currently underway. As a soil-less growing system, aquaponics requires fewer resources resulting in reduced expenses and environmental impacts.

 

Aquaponics System

at the Healing Garden

Installation

of the system in June

Harvest

from the aquaponics system

The project focuses not only on the shelter's sustainability but also on the survivors—helping them become capable and sustainable individuals who can make a meaningful and positive impact on their families and/or communities.

Beyond the Center of Hope

The project focuses not only on the shelter's sustainability but also on the survivors—helping them become capable and sustainable individuals who can make a meaningful and positive impact on their families and/or communities.

The survivors are undergoing various skills training, including but not limited to entrepreneurship, small business management, and cookery, to enrich their competencies and expand their employment opportunities upon reintegration. Combined with their experience in gardening and organic farming through the healing garden, these skills can become useful tools for them to find better opportunities to make a living in the future.

In the meantime, survivors can apply these skills and participate in COH's venture into social enterprise entitled the "Raising Hope Project". Through this project, in-house survivors are given minor roles in the production of goods and management while reintegrated survivors are assisted in starting up their own small enterprises, which are mainly focused on online selling, by providing basic business training and access to capital.

VF's soon to be launched Online Marketplace, a sub-project under the social enterprise, is also meant to equip the survivors for reintegration by featuring their artworks on select merchandise —a portion of the profits will go to survivors’ savings which are given over to them upon reintegration. The rest of the profits made from the enterprise will go to sustaining shelter operations and will benefit in-house survivors.
 
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