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An economic sustainability project in response to the pandemic

An integral
ecological agriculture

Mary Ann Tolentino


At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Philippines went into lockdown for a month. Living hand-to-mouth, many said to themselves, "If we stay home, maybe we won't die of the virus, but we will die of hunger." A Focolare Movement community in the Philippines took seriously the challenge of the plight of the most vulnerable to help them achieve what they needed to ensure their survival.

Since 1987, the Aklan Focolare community, in the central-west province of the Philippines, has tried to be there in support of those most on the margins of society. We have worked with church organizations and local government units to help the needy, including some indigenous communities left without land to cultivate because of industrialization.

Faced with the pandemic and the plight of our people, we could not turn our backs. God responded to our concerns when Italian friends from the Bassano del Grappa and Marostica regions sent help. This allowed for the immediate provision of food for 108 families, and the responses written by the children of these families are truly heartwarming.

The beginnings