Literacy is at the core of the project, utilising a proven curriculum Nelia will implement a fast track method of teaching the Manobo students to speak and read in English and learn simple mathematics.
When the next container of Aid arrives from Australia we will build a Community Centre to utilised as a School, Meeting Place, Library and Computer Aided Learning unit, we are future proofing the community and with supplementary training and assistance the project should gather momentum and perpetuate in years to come.
Power for the building will be a challenge and we will seek aid from local agencies and Aid from Abroad to fund Solar Panels, Batteries etc to produce energy for the modern technologies (lights, computers, building equipment).
When not used for powering computing for children to learn, excess power will be available for lights in the home (and charging cell phones), encouraging children to read more, improving their knowledge and resilience for the wider world. Eventually we would like to provide access to the internet, using satellite technology we can provide a to the Manobo People providing them with the Internet for greater independence and continued learning.
Health and Hygiene
Teaching the women how to wash their children, hands and hair, introducing showering twice a day to develop healthier children will reduce the spread of amoebiasis, communicable disease, reducing the mortality rate. This in turn reduces the need for large families and over population. The Manobo people participate in the voluntary tubal ligation program for women for permanent family planning. This is reducing over population and increasing their potential to raise strong healthy families. Simple processes, such as washing of hands after handling animals, ablutions and preparing food (an obvious activity in the developed community) is alien to these people. The program includes a section on how to wash and showering children at least once a day. This will improve overall health. Once taught to wash their children adults follow the practice – reverse psychology at work!. Making soap from natural products will also improve cleanliness and hygiene keeping costs to a minimum.
Sanitation and Toilets
The project includes a section on building composting toilets to reduce the fly population and produce a valuable fertiliser for gardens at little or no cost. Composting kitchen, and human waste will reduce the environment for harmful bacteria and reduce the fly, pest and vermin population. This in turn reduces the transmission of common disease. Using recycled materials we have developed a twin container system, allowing one to be filled while the second is composting. This will allow them to collect and process compost material simultaneously. We will begin by building a community toilet and teaching the people to build individual units; we build resilience and improve overall lifestyle.
Utilising the NEW Compressed Earth Brick press (CEB) the program includes a section where we will teach the people to make bricks then build a permanent dwelling from the compressed earth bricks. This will allow them to build a replacement for their bamboo and palm leave homes. Instead of lasting 2-3 years the brick homes will be permanent.
We will encourage and supervise the building of other buildings. We aim to teach these people to build a school and community centre so they can assist one and other to build dwellings.
Teach them to fish!
Depending on the level of aid we can attract we will endeavour to make the dwellings mosquito proof reducing the chance and spread of dengue fever, malaria and other tropical disease.
Providing a waterproof living environment will increase the potential for children to flourish reducing chest infections. If a child is well nourished and healthy up to the age of 5 years of age the potential for them to learn is increased dramatically. Providing a bathroom with a shower will reduce water usage and ensure the whole body is adequately cleaned.
As a contributing member of www.osrliving.org, Desmond utilised the CEB press design and drawings. He has enhanced the design and added some roller bearings to reduce the effort required to make the bricks. The NEW press also has a “lego” shape built in to allow easy stacking of the bricks so no mortar is required. The buildings can be built with little or no trade knowledge. The CEB press has been donated as part of the project; manufactured from components cut by our sponsor, designed on CAD and CNC laser steel cutting machine in Australia. This press and others will be available to the Manobo people throughout the project.
The CEB’s will also be used to build Rocket Stoves.
We will teach making charcoal to allow the people to be more self sufficient and capable of providing cooking fuel to reduce the toxic fumes in the dwelling.
This will reduce the incidence of lung infections and improving the life expectancy of women. All Filipinos have a high incidence of lung and breathing related health issues. 50% of women who die under the age of 40 have a chronic airways disease or disorder. Introducing better, more efficient cooking equipment will contribute to reducing this problem. 80% of children are exposed to excessive levels of carcinogenic smoke from burning “green” timber in cooking areas (open fires) with no chimney to exhaust smoke and contaminates.
Food Crops – growing Vegetables and Grains
The Manobo people rely on native grasses, plants and seeds for their nourishment. Climate Change is reducing the potential for these people to produce enough food to live a healthy life.
Most of the Manobo are surviving on one meal per day. The project will engage the development of a community garden where we will introduce vegetable seeds and teach them to grow healthy food. This will engage the whole community and has proven to be the best method of binding communities (even urban New York). Developing a system where these people can enjoy 2-3 meals per day will improve their learning and working capacity. This in turn increases their potential to become self sufficient and eventually self reliant. Reducing poverty by stealth!