Grant to support reforestation, together with livelihood, education, and even spiritual transformation of farmers and their families in the country
GreenEarth Heritage Foundation received recently a grant from Fujitsu Philippines, Inc. (FPI) to help make the world more sustainable by building trust in society through innovation.
The foundation was one of the 19 non-profit organizations (NPOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) selected globally for the Fujitsu Group’s Strategic Community Investment 2022 program.
Such an initiative was formed to support activities by NGOs and NPOs, which resolve social issues and contribute to the realization of Fujitsu’s Purpose, by providing grants for projects selected from a group-wide application open to all employees.
Located at the foothills of the Sierra Madre in San Miguel, Bulacan, the GreenEarth Heritage Foundation was organized by Dr. Mylene Matti.
In 2009, she founded this non-stock, non-profit organization after receiving more than 100 hectares of land, donated to them by the landowner.
Since then, the area has become a reforestation site and a farm that supports sustainable community formation by farmers.
Its mission is built with four pillars.
The first one is reforestation to help green the planet.
This pillar is integral since at least 52,000 trees are being cut down every day in the country according to the data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Next is livelihood in organic agriculture, which aims to provide income opportunities for farmers and other financially challenged community members.
With this, the foundation enables farmers to produce vegetables and fruits free from pesticides and other chemicals that can harm the environment and cause diseases.
Other than that, they also create processed products from their crops.
For instance, the organization offers Moringa Tea, and Moringa Powder certified organic by Ecocert, a leading international certifier for natural products, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
They also have other products, such as Green Banana Flour and Rejuvenate Juice, a mixture of organic red sweet potato sprouts, roselle, coconut blossom sugar, and calamansi water.
Meanwhile, the third pillar centers on education.
GreenEarth runs a homeschool program with a Christian, American-credited curriculum for preschool to Grade 5 to help educate the farmers’ children and improve their English and digital literacy.
It also has a scholarship assistance program to assist them until they graduate college.
Lastly, since the foundation is also a Christian humanitarian organization, it believes in the spiritual transformation to help guide the community to the right way of life.
The organization believes in a holistic approach to helping the farming community, so this includes providing them with spiritual nourishment.
Building a greener planet
GreenEarth is a strong advocate for reforestation.
On Sept. 16, 2022, the organization finished planting 87,271 seedlings in its field.
However, the occurrence of Typhoon Karding in September 2022, followed by Typhoon Paeng in Oct. 2022, destroyed thousands of seedlings and knocked down 2,600 mature trees in the area.
Since then, the foundation has dedicated its efforts to continuous clearing of fallen trees and grass cutting on planting sites, inventory of planted seedlings, whether dead or alive, creation of thousands of bamboo markers for the planting areas, filling of PET bottles to act as drip irrigation for live plants, continuous propagation of new seedlings, and purchasing of polybags, among others.
This dedication is fueled by the organization’s belief in the methodology of the renowned Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki.
According to Dr. Matti, the process requires that the forest be taken care of for the first two or three years.
This involves the removal of unnecessary plants and continuous watering.
She added that this will help a forest mature in just ten years than 100 years if left alone.
Additionally, the methodology includes enhancing the soil quality with soil amendments and planting native trees to thrive better in the environment.
It also requires placing three to five saplings per square meter for high-density planting.
“Our partnership with GreenEarth enables us to participate in their environmental, livelihood, and educational efforts and grants the non-profit organization PhP1.5 million to support its activities. With this, we hope our collaboration will provide an opportunity to help realize the foundation’s mission to solve environmental and societal issues,” said Raul “Cricket” Santiago, the president and CEO of Fujitsu Philippines.
Meanwhile, Dr. Matti, founder, and executive director of GreenEarth said that “the grant came at the right time to help us with our ongoing efforts for reforestation, especially after the typhoon devastation. Our organization is sincerely grateful for this partnership with Fujitsu. We look forward to what this collaboration has in store in the future.”