Through “twists in life” we came in contact with Lars C. Jorgensen. Lars was born in Vejle and his lifetime project has brought him to the Philippines where he started the Stairway Foundation.
The program that we choose to support is the Feeding Project that was started up 5 years ago.
The Stairway Foundation bought a piece of land in a remote mountain village, where they found a small school with no students. Through a community analysis, they concluded that the school was basically empty because the children in the community were hungry. Introducing a feeding program with 2 meals a day at the school brought the average attendance up from around 20 to more than 150 over a relatively short time. The effects are dazzling! Weight gain and significantly improved health are easily measured short term benefits, while the rewards of going through an education will be the long term impact, offering the younger generations a way out of the perpetual demeaning poverty, which has been the reality of the community as far as anybody remembers.
How we try to help!
We ask the exhibition photographers to donate for this charity one copy of their work, which we can sell to the visitors of the exhibition. Please help us to raise as many funds as possible to help these children build a better life for themselves and their families.
Write us if you are interested to donate and choose one of the exhibition photos: MAY2017@foodphotofestival.com. We will inform you if the sales will be up.
More about the Stairways Foundation Feeding Project
Mangyan refers to the eight indigenous tribes inhabiting the island of Mindoro, each with its own culture and language, with members predominantly employed in agriculture, hunting and gathering, and wage labor. One tribe, the Iraya, is an extremely impoverished and socially marginalized group.
Our overall vision for the indigenous project is still to break the perpetual cycle of poverty amongst the Mangyan people, eliminate discrimination towards this minority people, and mitigate teen marriages and early pregnancies; all through a sustainable and environmentally sound community development plan. Our main strategies to reach these long term goals are to enhance the quality of education and to increase the number of children attending school.
Our first activity was a needs analysis/community assessment, which showed that less than 25% of children registered in the local elementary school showed up on a regular basis. The entire community pointed to one reason for the low attendance, which is lack of food. Very few families would have regular meals, so the children would simply hang out around the house hoping for some food to appear, or they would themselves be out searching for root crops, fruits or any other sustenance to take them through the day.
Since the start of the feeding program in January 2011, the average number of children attending school has increased from around 20-30 up till around 150-200 in 2015. In January 2014, we went from only serving lunch to also offering breakfast. This increased the number of students showing up in time for their early classes, improved their attention and retention ability during the pre-lunch classes, and of course further added to the children’s overall improved health. To help sustain the feeding program and to make it a community program, the parents must contribute by volunteering their help in the food preparation. The children themselves are responsible for delivering dry firewood for the stoves.
For more information see: