“Bida El Comunidad”— Enriching Lives, Saving Communities 

By Ma. Theresa Lanelle Bañez | Posted on January 6, 2024

The world of Rotaract is always boundless— it reaches out to any space it aims to  inspire, close or distant. 

On November 25, 2023, the Rotaract Club of Zamboanga City West and the Rotaract  Club of Makati successfully performed the “Bida El Comunidad: A 2-in-1 Partnership  Project” at Barangay Tulungatung, Zamboanga City. The collaboration showcased a unique urban farming method through the Gardenator and an educational reading session with kids through Project BTS: Beware the Snake  (BTS). 

The morning session exhibited an enthusiastic moment among the 100 children with  the Project BTS: Beware the Snake (BTS) at the Tulungatung Elementary School  Covered Court, Barangay Tulungatung, Zamboanga City. The activity aimed to  empower guardians and kids in tackling the issues of abuse and personal boundaries,  with delicate subtle representations on trafficking and sexual harassment on the  educational content. The reading session was supported by the 60 participating  Rotaractors and Interactors who fervently brought the story to life with an active group reading with translation and role playing. In relevance, Project BTS significantly inspired kids to remember the 3 Rs: Reject, Retreat, Report (Tumanggi, Umiwas, at  Magsumbong) for instances that they may experience similar to the main character in  the book. Subsequently, interactive games, followed by the distribution of hygiene kits,  copy of the BTS book, and snacks wrapped the first phase of the project with the  memorable smiles and gratitude from the 100 children who experienced both fun and  lasting learning from the activity.

RAC Makati President Emmanuel Adrian Manuel and RAC Zamboanga City West President Ma. Theresa Lanelle C. Bañez together with the children of Tulungatung Elementary School, Zamboanga City during the Project BTS

Fueled for the afternoon session, the Rotaractors and Interactors hosted the workshop for the Gardenator with the assistance of the Kids Who Farm members at the Rotaract ATIWA Farm, Barangay Tulungatung, Zamboanga City. A “gardenator” is made from a  used margarine vertical barrel container and is innovated as a technology to enhance and support sustainable urban gardening and to teach food waste and composting systems in the community. 

The 20 mothers, who came from identified vulnerable and displaced households in  Barangay Tulungatung, were taught systematically about the production of the  Gardenator, partnered with the gardening mechanism of composting-to-harvesting.  The clubs turned over the 20 sets of gardenators, sacks of mixed garden soil, and  seedlings among the recipients as a gesture of support to theihouseholds in embracing  the challenge to sustainable food production in their respective homes. 

The 2-in-1 partnership project emanated the passion of the clubs to help communities grow through the simplest important knowledge which are perceived to live with those who have received it—the children who are bound to be wiser in the midst of mischief,  and providing parents to be innovative in sourcing food for the table. 

Members of the Rotaract Clubs of Makati and Zamboanga City West together with the beneficiaries of Gardenator from ATIWA Farm

Behind the limelight of this achievement, the Bida El Comunidad was ultimately guided by the generosity of the following pledged partners: Kids Who Farm, Kids Can  Compost, 6th Air Reserve Center of the Philippine Air Force, Myler Agribusiness, Inc.,  Ric and Remy’s Bakeshop, Angela Angeles-Garcia, Gotuaco, Del Rosario Insurance  Brokers, Inc., ETIRMAS Law Office, Ckrown Prints, and 23 co-host Rotaract and  Interact Clubs in the country. This milestone is a work of passion that Rotaract has  inculcated in the virtues of the Rotaract Clubs of Zamboanga City West and Makati. 

The culmination has taught members to be boundless— to unceasingly reach out to  any space they aim to inspire, close or distant.

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