Though Earth Group has been supporting school meal programs for years, founders Kori Chilibeck and Matt Moreau only recently met the recipients of one of their projects. It was certainly not the best timing for a trip to the Philippines, but it was truly an experience they will treasure for the rest of their lives.
When Matt and Kori traveled to Mindanao in the Philippines earlier this summer, the region had recently been hit by excessive flooding that literally swept entire villages away. This devastation was compounded by a violent uprising in the area, which led to thousands being uprooted from their jobs and homes.
Due to these safety concerns, it was recommended that the pair take a flight at 3am from Manila to Cagayan de Oro in order to avoid an overnight stay. They were met at the airport by the country’s head of the World Food Programme and transported in a multi-car United Nations convoy through the jungle for three hours before they reached a small village. Here, they visited a small one-room hospital where mothers bring their young children for high nutrition meals as well as immunizations. Though the facility was overflowing, after zipping along the makeshift “highways” for hours, they were grateful to be greeted by so many thankful and welcoming people.
Their final destination was as anticipated by the school as these foreign visitors. They turned the last corner to find a giant hand-painted sign welcoming them by name to the small one classroom school. To say they were overwhelmed by the incredible reception from 40 students, parents and the principal would be an understatement, as evidenced by a few tears that rolled down Canadian cheeks.
The next two hours was a festive time of visiting and feasting. The special guests were treated to a generous lunch, which was more food than they had prepared for the entire class. It was an incredible gesture, this expression of gratitude by offering all that they had.
Earth Group will be funding school meal feeding programmes in this region for several months, ultimately providing 250,000 meals to children in impoverished schools. Matt Moreau was humbled and thrilled by this opportunity, “It was amazing to finally get to see a project and where our money is going. It’s certainly making a huge difference for these families. Parents would otherwise have no option to send their children to school, and would also have to worry about how to provide meals. Through the programs we fund, they know they’re safe, fed and becoming educated.”
A long-time client of Top Draw, we are happy to share this inspirational story and commend Earth Group for their tireless efforts. Earth Group donates all net proceeds from the sale of bottled water and other products to the United Nations World Food Programmes. Keep up the amazing work!
You can also do your share by purchasing Earth Water, Earth Coffee and Earth Tea. Visit www.earthgroup.org to buy online now.
We will add more photos to this post once they have been approved by the UN. Stay tuned!