A small community is helping another small community.
An annual garage sale on Quadra Island is back for its 25th year. The garage sale raises funds and aims to help Cataw, a small village in the northern Philippines.
Over the years, Quadra residents have supported seven preschool programs and over 1, 100 children through a partnership with a small NGO called International Association for Transformation.
Carol Foort is one of the garage sale organizers, and she says many of the children residents supported through the preschool programs have gone on to graduate and are now professionals. Some of them came back to help their village, taking care of and teaching the new generation of children.
Foort says in the beginning, Quadra residents wanted to show the benefits of having daycares so that the local government will one day support it, which will enable more parents to work.
“When we began 26 years ago, we began supporting three village daycares. Three teachers’ stipends and supplies for three daycares in the remote area. Our goal was to eventually (have) their local government to take over and give that support,” Foort said.
She says in recent years, the village’s local government has been supporting the daycares. Foort says this has allowed community funds to be refocused.
In the last couple of years, Foort says they’ve been supporting two local girls’ education, as well as another program in the NGO called Gift for Peace. The program gives families a water buffalo or pig with the understanding that the animal’s first offspring will be given to another family who they may have had a past conflict with.
The program also gives villagers training seminars on leadership, health and nutricial, finances, composting, and agro-forestry. Foort says this in turn helps promote self-sufficiency and economic stabilities for the village and other surrounding communities in the north.
“What happens through this program is that it is helping to create self-sufficiency as well as peace in an area that in the past has had tribal warfare. (It creates) community connection in different areas.”
This year’s garage sale will be held at the Quadra Community Centre on Sunday. The sale will be from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.