May 2, 2022
Volunteers visit Davao banana farming project, distribute rice to indigenous families
By Ben Baquilod
Tzu Chi Davao volunteers went to Talaingod, Davao Del Norte on May 1 as part of their monthly monitoring of the banana farming project. This initiative is part of Tzu Chi’s poverty alleviation program for the indigenous tribes of the province.
In January, Davao volunteers started the project and planted 2,500 banana seedlings with the farmers’ families in a 52-hectare land. On Sunday, 21 Davao volunteers including commissioners, apprentices, and Tzu Chi youth set off on a 3-hour trip to Talaingod—trekking mountains and crossing rivers to revisit the farm.
Volunteers were happy to see the trees growing and thriving. They helped weed the farm, dug soil, plant additional seeds, and consulted agricultural experts. The farmers expect the trees to yield sweet fruits by next year.
To make the most of their visit, with the Venerable Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s blessing, volunteers also gifted the 45 indigenous families with rice from Taiwan, each family received 20 kilos of rice.
Moreover, volunteers distributed vegetable buns and candies, much to the delight of the farmers’ children. “Looking at the smiles of the children, it turns out that happiness is just as simple as that,” says one Tzu Chi volunteer
He adds, quoting Master Cheng Yen, “Only after seeing suffering, can you understand compassion. And when you have planted goodness, you will know how to help the world.”