"I am hungry."
This short but compelling sentence verbalizes the plight of many malnourished young children of our world. Not all are fortunate to partake in the normal, not all enjoy three meals a day, and not all sit at a dining table laden with the required nourishments for healthy growth.
In the spring of 2014, three teenage girls from Los Angeles visited the Philippines, the birth country of their parents. Caroline, Carmina and Catherine were rewarded with this trip from good scholastic achievements. Their parents designed their vacation to be a combination of fun and civic awareness to the world around them, in this instance, Vigan, Philippines.
So apart from enjoying the splendor of the white beaches of Palawan, they spent a few days mingling with the town’s Rotary Club of Vigan, observing and learning about the club’s civic programs. They participated in painting the homes that their parents built for the underprivileged. They were introduced to the dental outreach clinic and the school feeding program. They discovered and saw first hand that forty-eight (48) grade school children were assessed by the Philippine Pediatric Society of Ilocos Sur as immensely malnourished. These children were short in height and light in weight for their age range. They mingled with these innocent children who were born to poverty and did not know the difference.
Seeing these, they took action. Caroline, Carmina and Catherine took a courageous leap and made a commitment to the Rotary Club of Vigan to support the forty-eight school children.
When they returned to the United States, their perspective on life changed. They had a marked appreciation of the privileges that they enjoyed. They acutely understood that others are not as fortunate; in fact they are quietly waiting for help. They asked, “Is it indeed true that giving up one juice drink or a scoop of Yogurt once a month can healthily feed one malnourished child?”
They got to work and invited Tiffany, their friend and classmate, to brainstorm on a vision. They made a pact to adopt the Busiing Elementary School in Vigan, where the forty-eight malnourished children attend school.
In June 2014, when school started in the Philippines, Feed2Succeed was born. With the help of the Rotary Club of Vigan and their partners in service, the Ilocos Sur Medical Society, the Philippine Pediatric Society-Ilocos Sur Chapter, the Ilocos Sur Dental Society, and the Metro Vigan Cooperative Hospital, the pilot program was launched and the first funding was granted. From the mouths of babes to ears of four budding philanthropists, a brand of kindness came to life; unadulterated and genuine in purpose.