UPGRADING EARTH: WYAAP EMERGING LEADERS’ CONFERENCE

Hello! It’s me Bernie Belgrado again, Community Manager of our Team Kalabaws. It was a privilege attending the World Youth Alliance- Asia Pacific conference in University of Asia and the Pacific with Hindy, where she was invited to speak in front of young leaders as one of the panel speakers for topics ranging from innovation, green-businesses and organic farming for social change. There were students from all over Asia and they were all present to learn about how they can emerge successfully by working with the earth.

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Hindy talks to one of the student organizers of the event.  The conference was organized with the aim of contributing to brainstorm solutions to the world’s environmental problems.

 

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Organic farming is not just a sustainable practice but it is also the healthier way to go for ourselves and our families. Hindy opened up about the reason why she began growing her own food in her backyard; she wanted the best and healthiest food to offer to her children.

Holy Carabao became established when she knew that more families needed to have access to fresh food that grew on healthy soil. “Food is the foundation,” Hindy adds. If we want to start living sustainably, we have to begin with changing or strengthening the foundation.  Hindy tells the young crowd that they can start by paying attention to the food they eat and ask questions such as where they think the food comes from, whether its production is sustainable or humane, etc.

 

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Co-founder of organic and eco product retailer ECHOstore Pacita Juan talks about creating an opportunity for a lifestyle change to those who want to live more sustainably.

One of the memorable speakers of the day shares the same advocacy as Hindy about organic farming and eating. Ms. Pacita Juan first established ECHOstore then they started an organic farm where they produce most of the organic food that is sold in the store. Ms. Juan shares that we have to be mindful about what we consume. Ms. Juan says,” Whatever you put in your mouth is either food or poison.”

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For the panel discussion, Hindy is joined by the young founder of a social enterprise that provide loans to small-holder farmers.

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Matthew Aviso, a student from UAAP presented a problem he believes other students from his university would agree with him on. He says that there is awareness of organic food among college students these days but their concern is the accessibility to affordable organic options in the city. He adds that in order to get fresh organic food, he has to travel all the way to Cavite where his hometown is and go to a farm with his family, but that option isn’t available to him during the weekdays when he lives in the city.

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In order to address accessibility, there needs to be a visible and increasing growth in demand for organic produce. It can start with awareness and understanding of what ‘organic’ is and the implications of non-organic farming to our earth and our lives. Then, young people can inform their families especially the person in the family who does the groceries. The youth could also spread awareness to their friends via social media or during their face-to-face communication with their peers. These behavior changes, collectively, could definitely translate to demand.

Besides, there is nothing disadvantageous about being mindful of our choices. In fact, making the decision to refrain from unhealthy fast food once could make a big difference to our health or wellbeing in the succeeding days.

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What a great international event organized by the UA&AP! It was inspiring to see a huge bunch of young students who are wide-eyed about ideas of saving the planet with the skills they possess in today’s world. I’m positive that these guys will help design the future to be brighter and more sustainable.