TUBAO, La Union – A local farmer has been selected as one of the 50 grassroots leaders to join an international movement’s learning fellowship. Carol Galvez was chosen by Giving Tuesday to join the 2022 Cohort of the Starling Collective. The Starling Collective is a global fellowship that welcomes grassroots leaders into a learning community focused on movement building, peer support, and connection to Giving Tuesday’s growing global network of movement leaders.
Galvez is a practitioner of natural farming and is the co-founder of The Pitak Project, a permaculture site established in 2013 in Tubao, La Union. She has been involved in educating farmer groups on sustainable and regenerative farming practices.
The main criteria for the selection include how the applicants are helping in transforming their communities through innovative approaches that spread generosity and in tackling the most pressing issues. The initiative was launched in 2020 to identify and support individuals pursuing innovative approaches to catalyzing generosity, empathy, equity, and justice.
Galvez hopes to respond to meet the needs of smallholder farmers in their community by establishing an ultra-local marketplace of community assets they call Abot Kamay Tienda. Abot kamay is Filipino for “helping hands” while the word tienda is a Spanish term meaning store and is commonly used in the Ilocos region as a marketplace.
“The idea of a marketplace of community assets sprung from the lens we use to view wealth in permaculture, which is the eight forms of capital; namely, financial, material, living or natural, social, intellectual, experiential, spiritual, and cultural,” Galvez said.
“It is meant for our village to be able to access these capitals. Instead of just allowing the capitalist market to accumulate profit, let us use it to nurture our other capitals,” Galvez added.
She further said, “The problem is the solution. Let us use the market as an arena to show that money is not the only form of capital driving the human economy. We want people to remember that we have exchanged other more meaningful ways through our Bayanihan spirit.”
Instead of offering just products, the tienda can provide and facilitate access to local food connecting local farmers and consumers; access to knowledge on regenerative agriculture and issues affecting farmers; environmental issues; disaster resiliency; access to learning and mentoring; access to local services; connection for relief mobilization; among others.
With this community-based tienda, locally available resource-based platforms both physical and digital can be used. Collaboration with local government units and civil society organizations can also be done to maximize locally available assets and resources.
“When we give credence to the other forms of capital, not just money, we empower people. We build community-based enterprises on stronger social bonds and recognize that we are an immensely wealthy village. As a result, we grow well-rounded citizens who are sharers, stewards, volunteers, and caregivers. This way, the community members can become actors in the collective survival strategies of the community,” Galvez said.
Galvez was one of those selected among 1,400 applications coming from 89 countries. The 50 selected participants representing 34 countries and ranging from ages 14-58 are now participating in the six-month program, which provides a curriculum focusing on skills that are essential to movement building, including storytelling, mobilization, sustainability, and measurement. Selected participants in the learning fellowship also receive microgrants to support leadership development or accelerate their on-the-ground community work. More than half of the participants come from the Global South.
The Pitak Project
The Pitak Project, founded by Carol Galvez and Cyrene Reyes, is a two-and-a-half-acre permaculture farm nestled in Pideg, Tubao, La Union. It was created in 2013 and since then has embarked on numerous projects that have impacted the area’s ecosystem and communities. They are currently seeking help to raise startup funds to venture into market gardening. To donate please go to their crowdfunding link at https://bit.ly/3iJX2lh.
To learn more about The Pitak Project, please visit their blogsite at https://thepitakproject.wordpress.com/ or find The Pitak project on Twitter and Facebook.
About Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday is a movement that unleashes the power of radical generosity around the world. It was created in 2012 at New York’s 92nd Street Y and incubated in its Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact. What started as a simple idea of a day that encourages people to do good has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity year-round. The movement is brought to life through a distributed network of entrepreneurial leaders who lead national movements in 85+ countries and hundreds of community movements worldwide, including more than 260 community campaigns across the U.S. alone. People and organizations participate in Giving Tuesday in every single country in the world.
To learn more about Giving Tuesday participants and activities or to join the global generosity movement, please visit: www.givingtuesday.org and www.givingtuesdayspark.org or find Giving Tuesday on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.