Our approach inspires people to help themselves and strengthens communities to find lasting solutions to hunger, poverty and disease and to promote a healthy environment.
As one of the first two villages assisted by World Neighbors in 1981 in the Philippines, Barangay Tabayag is an upland village located an hour away from the town of Argao in Cebu. At that time, there were less than one hundred families living in this village which was almost devoid of the top soil that is imperative for agriculture. In 1986, Sergio Arobo, nicknamed Serging, was just 13-years-old and grew up in the mold of the World Neighbors program. Now a 34-year-old man, Serging has witnessed first-hand the impact that World Neighbors has made in his community throughout the years. His is a World Neighbors success story that stands out.
"In 1986, my family only planted corn in our farms," said Serging. "Before the corn stands fell on the ground after harvest (which takes around one and a half months), all our corn was already consumed by our family. Our corn harvest could not last until the next harvest. What got me interested in participating in the World Neighbors program were the visible changes that the farmers have made in their farms."
Just two years later, young Serging was chosen to be a Farmer Instructor and managed 10 farmers for the Community-Based Contract Reforestation. Serging ventured out from only farming corn crops to also raising livestock, utilizing their manure to fertilize his corn field. With Serging's motivation, combined with the tools and knowledge he gained from World Neighbors on contour farming, he successfully developed his corn crops and livestock farm. Over the years the program gained momentum - the community spirit was alive and progress was being seen by all. As a result, Serging and the Alayon programs felt the need to address other community needs. Serging now has a family, including his wife Basilia, his daughter Mary Grace who is 12 and his son Glen Mark, who is 9.
"My family has been earning income from the animals we raise," said Serging. "Before, I had to work and get paid to survive. Now, I can hire people to work for me."