Lifestyle

This Filipina-Led Non-Profit Was Just Granted P1.2 Million From Facebook for Local Farmers

The organization has reduced malnutrition, brought over 5,000 kids to school, and created sustainable income for communities all over the country.
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Non-profit organization Advancement for Rural Kids (ARK) has just been selected to receive $25,000 (approximately P1.2 million) in funding from Facebook's Community Accelerator Program. In a statement, ARK announced that it won the Community Vote as well as being selected by the judges in the top four of the program.

Founded in 2009 by former investment banker Ayesha Vera-Yu and partner Jerry Topitzer, ARK follows a signature co-investment model that partners with communities in developing areas to solve hunger and malnutrition, support children's education, and create sustainable income for life.

One of its biggest programs is Feed Back, a vegetable exchange initiative that "solves hunger in five weeks; enables fisherfolks to grow vegetables in their backyards; creates diversity, abundance, and great health; inspires new ventures; makes communities happy, united, and stronger."

How it works is that ARK distributes vegetable baskets to participating farmers and fisherfolks to start. Then, the communities are able to grow their own produce while creating an opportunity for them to earn a living by selling excess produce.

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Recently, ARK also kicked off Make Your Mark, a Christmas benefit through a virtual fine wine tasting. Hosted by New York-based wine director Jhonel Faelnar, the blind tasting is a "journey to faraway places" with carefully chosen coveted wines from all over the world care of Premium Wine Exchange.

With denominations of P2,500 to P500,000, each package benefits communities all over the Philippines in many different ways. These include securing a family for life, supporting self-sustaining communities, and naming rights to one of ARK's programs.

Watch the video below to learn more about Advancement for Rural Kids.

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Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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