Building sustainable communities, this has been their goal for the past 60 years. As a non-government organization, the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) has been striving on its own in reaching a world of equity and sustainability, developing rural communities in ways that the present resources could accommodate. They hold a program that promotes education, livelihood, health, environment and self-governance, all of which achieved by immersing yourself in the community and living among its people. This humble nature definitely anchors PRRM’s existence up to this day.
In our NSTP class, our Climate Change group was assigned to the said NGO as interns. We all had our fair share of expectations at the start, and for my case, I merely expected to be given a project that would promote PRRM’s objectives at the same time touch the subject of climate change. Now, what I thought would be an internship filled with office work turned out to be a different experience entirely. Our project turned out to be restoring or rehabilitating a rooftop garden by planting more plants, cleaning the area and re-arranging the garden. It was no easy task since it required a lot of sweat and energy to achieve the goal we wanted. Just for you to know, this is not a typical garden filled with ornamental and flowering plants rather it is filled with vegetables, fruits and medicinal plants, thus making it not only beneficial to the environment but also helpful to the community, since it’s a source of food and medicine, as well. Given this, its connection with climate change is very apparent, now how can PRRM’s goals be in the picture? Simple, PRRM is one that advocates people participation and sustainable development. By teaching us to learn and do things first hand, getting ourselves into the scene and outright doing the act of planting, we will be able to take an active part in answering the issue of climate change instead of just hiding behind the scenes, typing out words that would only get us as for as listing down ways to solve the problem. This gets us to participate as well as promote community development by starting the improvement with ourselves.
From our grade school project of planting a monggo seed to tending a whole rooftop garden, there is no better transition that could symbolize life and development. Others may think that what we are doing is futile considering the rise of technology, but as how PRRM works, development best starts from the smallest unit. Following that logic, one could see that it is indeed from simple ways such as planting did all the development and innovations start. So together, let us help each other make our first small steps in answering to climate change as we yearn for the bigger picture of sustainable development.
– Genevieve Kristine B. Mañalac
2012 – 21373